Barred snout Nemotelus uliginosus, copyright David Gould.

Belongs within: Stratiomyomorpha.
Contains: Stratiomyini, Oxycerini, Sarginae, Clitellariinae, Pachygastrinae.

The Stratiomyidae, soldier flies, are an ecologically diverse group of often colourful flies. Larvae of the Stratiomyinae and Nemotelinae are aquatic whereas larvae of other subfamilies are terrestrial, mostly living in association with decaying plant or animal matter. As adults, the Chiromyzinae are markedly sexually dimorphic, with females much larger than males, and have atrophied mouthparts, an unarmed scutellum and an elongate abdomen. The Beridinae have a similarly elongate abdomen but retain functional mouthparts and usually have six or more marginal spines or tubercles on the scutellum (Woodley 2009).

Characters (from James 1981): Slender to quite robust flies, 2-18 mm long. Colour usually yellow, green, blue, or black, sometimes metallic, frequently with variegated color patterns particularly on abdomen. Bristles not developed, though body, especially thorax, sometimes densely pilose. Head usually as broad as thorax but sometimes broader, hemispherical to spherical. Occipital (postocular) orbit often well-developed, especially in female. Eyes ranging from bare to densely hairy, widely separated in female, more narrowly separated or contiguous in male, each eye in male often divided into an upper area comprising large facets and a lower area of small facets; ocelli present. Antenna inserted at or below middle of head; scape and pedicel unmodified except in respect to elongation; flagellum consisting of five to eight flagellomeres. Proboscis usually fleshy, sometimes atrophied, sometimes elongated, never adapted for sucking blood; palpus one- or two-segmented, not conspicuous. Thorax rectangular-oval in dorsal outline, sometimes elongated. Scutellum sometimes with one to three pairs of apical spines. Wing well-developed (rarely absent); C not reaching beyond apex of wing; stronger veins crowded anteriorly; branches of R always meeting wing margin well before wing apex; Rs usually arising from R1 shortly before base of cell d or dm; R4 short, often indistinct or wanting; veins toward posterior margin of wing weak, tending to evanesce. Legs simple, at most with certain segrnents or tarsomeres inflated or elongated, never densely pilose; fore coxa never unusually elongated; pulvilli and empodia pad-like; tibial spurs only rarely developed. Abdomen composed of five to eight visible segments, with the remaining segments telescoped into visible ones or forming terminalia; outline from dorsal view varying from almost round to elongate-oval, sometimes petiolate or spatulate; vestiture moderate, never dense. Male terminalia usually small, rather simple; surstylus simple and ventral; aedeagus two- or three-pronged; cercus simple. Terminal female segments forming at most a simple weakly developed ovipositor. Larva elongated, flattened, composed of head capsule and ll body segments; integument shagreened from deposit of calcium carbonate plates; head capsule well-developed, although broadly open posteroventrally, retracted more than half its length within thorax, but not functionally retractile; anterior exposed portion elongated and narrow except for ocular prominences, broadened posteriorly; mandible and maxilla more or less completely fused, operating vertically; maxillary palpus distinct; no free pharyngeal skeleton within head capsule; antenna usually located anterolaterally. Prothorax broader than head, with remainder of body either parallel-sided to near apex or attaining maximum width at abdominal segment 2; prominent lateral spiracles present on prothorax; lateral spiracles sometimes present on metathorax and on abdominal segments l-6 or 1-7, but small and probably not functional; posterior spiracles functional, located in transverse cleft on terminal abdominal segment; prolegs lacking, although ventral hooks sometimes present, especially on penultimate or antepenultimate segment, or both. Pupation occurring within last larval integument.

<==Stratiomyidae [Stratiomyiidae, Stratiomyriidae] W09
    |--+--Parhadrestia [Parhadrestiinae] GC99
    |  `--Cretaceogaster Teskey 1971 GC99
    |       `--*C. pygmaeus Teskey 1971 GC99
    `--+--Pachygastrinae GC99
       |--Chiromyzinae GC99
       |    |--Chiromyza vittata W09
       |    |--Boreoides subulatus CM91
       |    `--Inopus J81 [incl. Altermetoponia CM74]
       |         `--I. rubriceps (Macquart 1847) H82 [=Altermetoponia rubriceps CM70]
       `--Beridinae GC99
            |--Allognosta J81
            |--Actina viridis J81
            |--Arcuavena W09
            |--Heteracanthia ruficornis W09
            |--Beridella W09
            |--Berismyia W09
            |--Paraberismyia W09
            |--Oplachantha W09
            `--Beris Latreille 1802 L02
                 |--*B. sexdentata [=Stratiomys sexdentata] L02
                 |--B. annulifera J81
                 |--B. clavipes [=Xylophagus (Beris) clavipes] G20
                 `--B. fuscipes W09

Stratiomyidae incertae sedis:
  Barbiellinia Bezzi 1922 K03
    `--*B. hirta Bezzi 1922 K03
  Montsecia martinezdelclosi GE05
  Syndipnomyia auricincta C91
  Lysozus W09
  Pedinocera W09
  Exaireta spiniger CM91
  Neoexaireta spinigera CM70
  Evaza O98
  Saldubella O98
  Geosargus [Geosarginae] RD77
  Chrysochlorina [Chrysochlorininae] W09
    |--C. haterius W09
    `--C. quadrilineata J81
  Hermetiinae [Hermetiini] W09
    |--Chaetohermetia apicalis W09
    `--Hermetia W09
         |--H. albitarsis W09
         |--H. flavipes W09
         `--H. illucens [=Xylophagus (Hermetia) illucens] G20
  Stratiomyinae W09
    |--Stratiomyini W09
    |--Oxycerini W09
    `--Prosopochrysini [Myxosargini] W09
         |--Nothomyia parvicornis W09
         `--Myxosargus W09
              |--M. knowltoni W09
              `--M. nigricornis W09
  Raphiocerinae W09
    |--Raphiocera armata W09
    |--Analcoceroides longicornis W09
    |--Brachythrix dileucostigma W09
    |--Anisoscapus chlorovittatus W09
    |--Neanalcocerus hortulanus W09
    |--Phanerozus pampinus W09
    |--Heptozus hansoni W09
    |--Dolichothrix melanothorax W09
    `--Histiodroma caloptera [=Raphiocera caloptera] W09
  Nemotelinae W09
    |--Akronia frontosa J81
    |--Brachycara W09
    |    |--B. maculata W09
    |    `--B. slossonae W09
    `--Nemotelus W09
         |--N. albirostris W09
         |--N. canadensis W09
         |--N. (Camptopelta) glaber W09
         |--N. kansensis J81
         |--N. signatus K01
         |--N. trinotatus E66
         |--N. uliginosus L02
         |--N. varius K01
         `--N. zichyi Kertész 1901 K01
  Sarginae W09
  Clitellariinae W09
  Cacosis P92
  Hermetiella P92
  Eulalia evansi E66

*Type species of generic name indicated


[CM70] Colless, D. H., & D. K. McAlpine. 1970. Diptera (flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 656–740. Melbourne University Press.

[CM74] Colless, D. H., & D. K. McAlpine. 1974. Diptera (flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers. Supplement 1974 pp. 91–96. Melbourne University Press.

[CM91] Colless, D. H., & D. K. McAlpine. 1991. Diptera (flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 717–786. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[C91] CSIRO. 1991. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 1. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[E66] Evans, H. E. 1966. The Comparative Ethology and Evolution of the Sand Wasps. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[G20] Goldfuss, G. A. 1820. Handbuch der Naturgeschichte vol. 3. Handbuch der Zoologie pt 1. Johann Leonhard Schrag: Nürnberg.

[GC99] Grimaldi, D., & J. Cumming. 1999. Brachyceran Diptera in Cretaceous ambers and Mesozoic diversification of the Eremoneura. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 239: 1–124.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[H82] Helmore, D. W. 1982. Drawings of New Zealand insects. Bulletin of the Entomological Society of New Zealand 8: 1–52.

[J81] James, M. T. 1981. Stratiomyidae. In: McAlpine, J. F., B. V. Peterson, G. E. Shewell, H. J. Teskey, J. R. Vockeroth & D. S. Wood (eds) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 1 pp. 497–511. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

[K01] Kertész, K. 1901. Legyek [Dipteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 179–201. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[K03] Kury, A. B. 2003. Annotated catalogue of the Laniatores of the New World (Arachnida, Opiliones). Revista Ibérica de Aracnología, volumen especial monográfico 1: 1–337.

[L02] Latreille, P. A. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, générale et particulière des crustacés et des insectes vol. 3. Familles naturelles des genres. F. Dufart: Paris.

[O98] Oosterbroek, P. 1998. The Families of Diptera of the Malay Archipelago. Brill: Leiden.

[P92] Poinar, G. O., Jr. 1992. Life in Amber. Stanford University Press: Stanford.

[RD77] Richards, O. W., & R. G. Davies. 1977. Imms' General Textbook of Entomology 10th ed. vol. 2. Classification and Biology. Chapman and Hall: London.

[W09] Woodley, N. E. 2009. Stratiomyidae (soldier flies). In: Brown, B. V., A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N. E. Woodley & M. A. Zumbado (eds) Manual of Central American Diptera vol. 1 pp. 521–549. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

Last updated: 17 April 2022.

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