Top Photo: Soldier fly larvae feeding in our wetland.

I’m not sure of the species level identification but the larvae in the photos above and below seem to belong to the genus Stratiomys. They’re a genus of soldier fly which apparently lays eggs in the water. The adults are bee or wasp mimics and feed on nectar and pollen.

Breathing tubes deployed as the larvae feed on the bottom.
Closer view.

The larvae that hatch from the eggs deposited by the adults eat detritus on the bottom of a shallow, muddy pond and breath through a “tube” at their posterior end (above). They spend their larval stage as aquatic insects leaving the water to pupate in the surrounding upland areas.

A dangerous trek across the pavement.

Look for them crawling out of the water following heavy late summer rains. The images here were taken on one such day last week in Explore the Wild. The larvae don’t posses legs in this stage of their lives so its a slow and arduous process.

Many of them didn’t survive the journey across the pavement due to human foot traffic.



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