Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Interested in a 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico?

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Previous events


Species Scathophaga stercoraria - Golden Dung Fly

Golden Dung Fly - Scathophaga stercoraria predatory Golden Dung Fly - Scathophaga stercoraria fuzzy golden fly - Scathophaga stercoraria Scathophaga stercoraria Fly - Scathophaga? - Scathophaga stercoraria Muscoidea I believe, maybe Scathophagidae or Anthomyiidae?  - Scathophaga stercoraria - male Unknown Fly - Scathophaga stercoraria Scathophaga stercoraria - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Calyptratae)
Superfamily Muscoidea
Family Scathophagidae (Dung Flies)
Subfamily Scathophaginae
Genus Scathophaga
Species stercoraria (Golden Dung Fly)
Other Common Names
Yellow Dung Fly
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
First described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus as Musca stercoraria

Scatophaga stercoraria (A common spelling of the genus- correct as Greek, but incorrect as a scientific name)
Explanation of Names
SCATHOPHAGA: from the Greek skatos (σκατος) [a variant of skor (σκωρ)] (- "excrement" + phagein (φαγειεν)- "to eat"; refers to the larvae, which eat excrement [i.e. dung]
STERCORARIA: from the Latin stercoris- "of dung"; the larvae are found in dung
adult body length 7-9 mm
adult males are bright yellow or golden; females are usually grayer; both sexes very hairy on body and legs
throughout North America and the world
larvae found in/on dung of domestic and wild animals
adults found in the neighborhood of larval development sites (dung) which can be just about anywhere - pastures, meadows, woodlands, beside standing or running water, parks, gardens, etc.
spring through fall
larvae feed on dung
adults prey mostly on other fly species, and occasionally on other insects
Life Cycle
multiple generations per year, the number depending on latitude (more in the south; fewer in the north)
This species has been studied extensively in attempting to understand the importance of sperm competition in the evolution of male mating behavior.
Internet References
live adult image (Johannes Skaftason, Iceland)
live adult image of pair mating (Michel Vuijlsteke, Europe)
live adult photo and distribution (Iziko Museums of Cape Town, South Africa)
mechanism of sperm competition (Research project at U. of Zurich, Switzerland)
Linnaeus Systema Naturae, 10th edition, v.1, pt. 2. p. 599    Linnaeus' original description of the species (in Latin)