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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

29 February, 2016

Chloromyia formosa: the broad centurion soldier fly

If you take the trouble to look you will find this little fly, the broad centurion soldier fly (Chloromyia formosa) sunbathing on the leaves of hedgerow plants in summer. They are also often seen feeding on the pollen from hogweed in late summer. It is a wonderful metallic green that glistens in the sun. The male has a bronze sheen to the abdomen whereas the female has a more bluish colouring.
One of a family commonly known as soldier flies because of their bright colouring supposedly resembling military uniforms this one has been named the broad centurion. It has a flattened body with a square 'tail' end. 
Eggs are laid on leaves and the leaves fall in autumn where the larvae emerge the following spring and feed on leaf litter and other material in damp ground. This means they have a preference for wetter areas around woodland edges and hedges which have ditches and that is where you find the adult fly sunbathing.
Chloromyia formosa: the broad centurion soldier fly