Black Soldier Fly

By: Emily Grundner & Emma Summers

Important characteristics of the insect.

  • no functioning mouth parts
  • weak fliers so they stay mostly on the ground
  • they do not bite at all
  • they will not fly into homes due to difficult obstacles

Geographic area/What they consume.

  • they live pretty much everywhere in the world including Antarctica
  • the larvae seek sheltered, dry locations to pupate.
  • they are scavengers and thrive on many kinds of decaying organic matter, including carrion, manure, plant refuse and the waste products of beehives. Adults commonly frequent flowers of the daisy and carrot families.

Time of Decay.

  • all types of decay will most likely occur in the time-frame of initial decay.

The three stages of the black soldier fly leading up to the adult black soldier fly

Toxicological analysis can be successful on insect larvae because their tissues assimilate drugs and toxins (more in case story)

Case Story

Between July 12th and 15th, 1999, near a garbage dump in Winnipeg, Manitoba three black bear cubs were found dead. The cubs had shot gun wounds on their head and neck and their gallbladders were removed, which indicated that they were killed for profit. Around the abdominal wounds on the cubs eggs of Black Soldier Flies were discovered. With the eggs they were able to indicate a time of death of the cubs. By doing so the police were able to link two suspects to the scene who was shooting in the area the time of the murders. The DNA evidence from one of the cubs then linked the poachers to the killings and they were charged with two counts of poaching, or in other words three months in jail.