Soldier flies reportedly get their name from their bold markings that resemble military uniforms. At first glance, in appearance and behavior, they often resemble wasps. This group varies widely in color and shape, but one of the characteristics they share is how they fold their wings at rest; scissorlike across the abdomen. Adults are often found on leaves in sunny forest patches and some frequent flowers or hang out near larval food sources. Depending on the species, larvae are either terrestrial or aquatic. Terrestrial larvae are mostly associated with decaying plant material. Aquatic larvae are found in various wet habitats and feed on algae, decaying organic matter or on other aquatic organisms.
Photo by Stacey Kleinkopf on 6/27/20 in Missoula, MT.