Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Soldier fly ( Stratiomyidae : Stratiomyidae )

Diagnostic features

Stratiomyid fly larvae have a long leathery body, a non-retractile head and a rosette of hairs at the end of the abdomen. In some specimens a pair of hooks may be visible underneath the abdomen on the second to last segment. There are no abdominal or thoracic prolegs.

Typical habitats

Stratiomyid larvae are among the less frequently recorded freshwater invertebrates, but they can be common in small grassy streams, or along the vegetated margins of pools, ponds and lakes.


Stratiomyids are thought to eat decomposing organic matter, particularly rotting vegetation and associated decomposer microbes.

Indicator value

Stratiomyid larvae can be common in streams and ponds with moderate to good water quality. They have mid range tolerance values of 5 (hard bottom sites) and 4.2 (soft bottom sites).