Ptecticus trivittatus
SOLDIER FLIES (Stratiomyidae)

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A small light brown fly about 1/2 inch (13 mm) long with long legs, large green eyes. The wings are normally folded flat across the back. They are sometimes called compost flies because they are often seen flying in irregular circles and figure eights just an inch or two above compost or garbage piles.


These flies are common in our area and can be seen around decomposing plant matter. The normal range for these flies is eastern North America west to Texas and Colorado.


Although the individual shown here was photographed in the entrance vestibule at the nature center, these flies can be commonly seen in Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods. They have been seen frequently in the author’s compost pile. There are five species in the genus Ptecticus in North America and about 140 species worldwide.


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