Scathophaga stercoraria

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Scathophaga stercoraria (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Luc Viatour
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Scathophaga stercoraria (Linnaeus, 1758) - (yellow dung fly)

This fly belongs to the family Scathophagidae, the dung flies, which includes around 500 species. The larvae of Scathophagidae are saprophagous, predacious or leaf miners. The adults are usually predators and also feed on the nectar of flowers.

Scathophaga stercoraria is widespread and abundant. Eggs are laid in animal dung, where the larvae feed on other insect larvae. The adults are also predator, but in addition may visit flowers and feed on nectar. They have a size of around 7 mm.

S. stercoraria is regarded as a polyphagous predators both in the larval and the adult stage. While some research has been done on S. stercoraria as a biological control agent of pests breeding in dung, it has become more important as a laboratory species for evaluating toxic effects of veterinary pharmaceuticals in livestock dung (Blanckenhorn et al., 2010).