Species name: Hermetia illucens Taxonomic Order and Family

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Species name:

Hermetia illucens

Taxonomic Order and Family:

Diptera / Stratiomyidae

Common name (if available):

Black Soldier Fly

Biology :


Since black soldier fly larvae consume decaying matter, they have been used to reduce animal manure in commercial swine and poultry facilities

Host/prey stage(s) attacked:

Because the larvae have been shown to be effective manure recyclers, a "Black Soldier Fly Manure Management System" has been proposed to not only reduce livestock waste, but also generate a food source for fish and other animals.

Life stages:

Egg, larvae (six instars), pupae, adult


Adults range from 15 to 20 mm in length. Can range in color from yellow, green, black or blue, with some having a metallic appearance

No. hosts/prey killed:

Approximately 45,000 larvae will consume 24 kg of swine manure in 14 days.


The adult's life span is 5 to 8 days.

Developmental time:

The eggs hatch into larvae in about four days. Larvae pass through six instars and require approximately 14 days to complete development. Pupation requires about two weeks

No. offspring:

Female black soldier fly deposits a mass of about 500 eggs in cracks and crevices near or in decaying matter such as dung, carrion, garbage, and other organic waste

Environmental preferences:

Where there is high amounts of organic waste. Non-tropical and warm temperate regions.

Geographic distribution:

260 known species in North America. While common in the continental United States, this fly is found throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Use in biological control (if any):

Used to manage and reduce livestock waste

Commercial availability and costs:

Larvae can be captured in areas with soldier fly populations and reared for release


Kaufman, J. W. (2009, July). black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Diptera: Stratiomyidae) . Retrieved February 20, 2012, from University of Florida Agriculture Sciences: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/livestock/black_soldier_fly.htm

Food or other resources for attracting/retaining:

Large amounts of organic waste left by livestock offer abundant sites that meet their reproductive needs. In areas where natural habitats are removed (urbanized areas) the black soldier fly will lay eggs in dumpsters or compost, which provide similar odors and nutritional needs to naturally occurring organic matter. This is especially true for areas with poor sanitation.

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