Insect Identification logo
Icon of the state of Texas
Icon of a spider
Icon of a beetle insect
Icon of a butterfly
Icon of a bee
Icon of the Bugfinder utility

Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Black Soldier Fly.

 Updated: 9/17/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The loud buzzing and large size of the Black Soldier Fly tend to bring 'wasp' to mind, but despite its appearance, it does not sting.



A Black Soldier Fly is a dead-ringer for a wasp, but it is harmless. The robust size and strong wings make it more conspicuous than house flies, but it is indeed a part of that family. Long black antennae do not bend or have an 'elbow' joint and the eyes are wide and round. Legs are black and yellow, and the tip of its abdomen tapers to a point that just starts to look like a stinger. If its wings are spread apart, it is possible to see two medium-sized spots that look like window panes. They almost appear clear or transparent, but might also be yellow, white, or green in color.

The Black Soldier Fly is fond of moist areas. Animal feces and manure are popular places to find one zipping about. Despite hanging out on around sewage and feces, this fly does not transmit disease. It does not bite either like some other large flies. Look for Black Solider Flies near piles of manure, or by compost and rotting vegetation. It is considered somewhat beneficial to have around in that it tends to keep house fly populations in check by dominating fly nursery locations.
Insect antennae icon
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Diptera
        Family: Stratiomyidae
          Genus: Hermetia
            Species: illucens
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Hermetia illucens
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 20mm (0.59in to 0.78in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow; white
Descriptors: yellow and black legs; fly; wasp mimic; black wings; flying; long antennae; black; white spot on abdomen; purple; sheen; window; see-through abdomen; clear spot on body
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic




Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.