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Soldier fly (Stratiomyidae)

Taxonomic group

Family: 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

  • Hard bottom: 5
  • Soft bottom: 4.2

The tolerance values (ranging from 0 to 10) give an indication of which are the sensitive taxa (values of 8 or more) and which are the tolerant taxa (values of 3 or less). For more information see: Indicator species

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).