Overview

Comprehensive Description

Stratiomyidae (Soldier Flies)
These large flies are long and slender, sometimes with metallic colors and spines along the thorax. The adults are lethargic, but nectar at flowers occasionally. They are most often observed in moist sunny places. The larvae of the larger Soldier Flies, such as Stratiomys and Odontomyia spp., are carnivorous, feeding on worms, small crustacea, and insects in moist ground. The larvae of other species feed on decaying vegetable matter along streams and other wet places. Soldier flies are good pollinators, but they are not very common.

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Ecology

Associations

Known prey organisms

Stratiomyidae (Stratiomyiid sp.) preys on:
detritus
Stephanodiscus
Cyclotella
Cymbella minuta
Diatoma heimale
Fragilaria vaucheriae
Frustulia rhomboides
Aulacoseira
Navicula avenacea
Nitzschia
Rhoicosphenia curvata
Surirella
Synedra ulna
Audouinella

Based on studies in:
New Zealand: Otago, Blackrock, Lee catchment (River)
New Zealand: South Island, Canton Creek, Taieri River, Lee catchment (River)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • Townsend, CR, Thompson, RM, McIntosh, AR, Kilroy, C, Edwards, ED, Scarsbrook, MR. 1998. Disturbance, resource supply and food-web architecture in streams. Ecology Letters 1:200-209.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 2179
Specimens with Sequences: 1617
Specimens with Barcodes: 1275
Species: 215
Species With Barcodes: 167
Public Records: 28
Public Species: 7
Public BINs: 18
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data

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Wikipedia

Stratiomyidae

The soldier flies (Stratiomyidae, sometimes misspelled as Stratiomyiidae, from Greek στρατιώτης - soldier; μυια - fly) are a family of flies (historically placed in the now-obsolete group Orthorrhapha). The family contains about 1,500 species in about 400 genera worldwide. Adults are found near larval habitats, which are found in a wide array of locations, mostly in wetlands, damp places in soil, sod, under bark, in animal excrement and in decaying organic matter. They are diverse in size and shape, though they commonly are partly or wholly metallic green, or somewhat wasplike mimics, marked with black and yellow or green and sometimes metallic. They are often rather inactive flies which typically rest with their wings placed one above the other over the abdomen.

Etymology[edit]

In English, the Stratiomidi are commonly called soldier flies ("soldier flies"), in German waffenfliegen ("armed flies"). In the Italian language Duméril (1832) used the common names term "stratiomidi" and "mosche armate" in the Dizionario delle Scienze Naturali (Dictionary of Natural Sciences).

Characteristics[edit]

Very small to large (3–20 mm long); 3 segmented antennae with the terminal segment annulated; ocelli present; lower orbital bristles absent. post-vertical orbital bristles absent; vibrissae absent; mouthparts - proboscis short, not piercing, maxillary palps 1 or 2 segmented; wings with a small discal cell or discal cell absent, nosub-apical cell, closed anal cell, costa not extending around the entire wing, sub-costa reaching the costa independently of vein 1, or joining vein 1 close to where it joins the costa; the leading edge veins often markedly stronger than the rest; vein 6 present and reaching the wing margin. Vein 7 present not reaching. Tibiae without spurs. For a pictorial atlas explaining these terms go to [1]

Larvae and pupae[edit]

Larvae may be either aquatic or terrestrial. In regards to nutrition they may be saprophagous, mycophagous, or predatory. The larva is apodous and eucephalic and cylindrical-fusiform, depressed dorso-ventrally and distinctly segmented. The size of the mature larva is variable, depending on the species, from less than 1 cm in length up to 3–5 cm. The head is much narrower than the thorax and partially sunken into it. The integument is strongly sclerotized with the cuticle containing inclusions of calcium carbonate with hexagonal crystals which form a characteristic micro-sculpture. In aquatic species, the last urite is thin and more or less elongated forming a breathing tube which ends with a tuft of waterproofing bristles. It is used to draw air from the surface, the larva remaining submerged.

The pupa develops inside the exuvium of the last larval stage, a feature common to all Stratiomyomorpha. The pupation within the larval exuvium constitutes a case of evolutionary convergence with Cyclorrhapha , in which group there is the formation of a true puparium .

Biology[edit]

The larvae of Stratiomyidae are characterized by a wide variety of behaviours and habitats. The diet is mainly scavenger, but aquatic species also feed on algae. Not very frequent are zoophagia, predation and phytophagia.The aquatic larvae are sometimes characterized by particularly specific habitat requirements. For example, several species colonize rocks covered by a thin layer of water (hygropetric), others are found in brackish water, some in thermal springs. In general, though, Stratiomyidae larvae colonize stagnant waters or rivers near the shores, seeking the richest vegetation, algae and debris.

Terrestrial larvae are found in organic substrates in decomposing vegetable matter and animal excreta, in moist soils and litter, under the bark of trees, etc.. Inopus rubriceps (Macquart) the sugarcane soldier fly is a pest the larvae attack the roots of sugarcane in Australia.

Adults are glucophagous and visit flowers to feed on nectar or do not feed dedicating their short lives to reproduction. Unlike other dipterous scavengers, adults of Stratiomyidae do not have relationships with the growth substrate of the larvae, except for oviposition.

Larval development takes place with a variable number of moults, depending on the species, up to 10 larval stages. Particularly well known is the post-embryonic development of Hermetia illucens, whose larvae develop through 6 stages.

Systematics[edit]

The Stratiomyidae are closely related to the family of Xylomyidae with which the share 10 synapomorphies and they form a monophyletic clade with the family of Pantophthalmidae with which they 5 synapomorphies.

 Stratiomyomorpha  


 Stratiomyidae



 Xylomyidae




 Pantophthalmidae



Species lists[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Literature for Palaearctic Fauna
  • Lindner, E., 1938, Vol 18. Stratiomyiidae. In: Lindner, E. (ed.): Die Fliegen der Palaearktischen Region. Stuttgart, 4(1):1-218.
  • Dusek J. and Rozkosny R. 1963-1967 Revision mitteleuropäischer Arten der Familie Stratiomyidae (Diptera) mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Fauna der CSSR. 60 (1963) : 201-221; 61 (1964) :360-373; 62 (1965): 24-60; 64 (1967): 140-165.
  • Acta entomologica bohemoslovaca 71: 322-341 + 1 Tafel.; Prag. Keys to subfamilies, genera and species. In German.
  • Nartshuk, E. P., 1988, 36. Family Stratiomyidae. Part I Diptera and Siphanoptera (In: Bei-Benko, G. Ya.,) Mycetobiidae-Therevidae. Keys to The Insect of European Part of The USSR. Russia, Vol. 5(2): 700-738.
  • Rozkošný, R., 1973, Stratiomyidae of Denmark and Fennoscandia. Lyneborg L. (ed.). Denmark, pp:1-139.
  • Rozkošný, R., 1982, A Biosystematic Study of The European Stratiomyidae (Diptera). Vol.1. Introduction, Beridinae, Sarginae and Stratiomyinae. Series Entomologica, 21. Dr.W. Junk, The Hague, pp. 1–401.
  • Rozkošný, R., 1983, A Biosystematic Study of The European Stratiomyidae (Diptera). Vol.2. Clitellariinae, Hermetiinae, Pachygasterinae and Bibliography. Series Entomologica, 25. Dr.W. Junk, The Hague, pp. 1–431.
  • Rozkošný, R., Nartshuk, E. P., 1988, Family Stratiomyidae. In: Soós, Á. & Papp, L. (eds.): Catalogue of Palearctic Diptera. Amsterdam & Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, pp 42–96.
Literature for World Fauna
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