Print This Page

 Major Groups | Insecta (insects) | Diptera (true flies) | Stratiomyidae

Stratiomyidae Stratiomyinae

Major Group: Insecta
Subfamily: Stratiomyinae
Genus: Odontomyia
Aquatic species of Stratiomyidae are represented by a single genus, Odontomyia.

Descriptive Features:

  • head capsule incomplete, reduced in size and structure, strongly sclerotized and non-retractile
  • maxillary palps and antenna distinguishable
  • mandibles usually with hooked apical tooth and lacking inner teeth
  • body flattened, hardened by accumulated calcarious deposition
  • abdomen 8-segmented
  • terminal fissure horizontal
  • posterior spiracles close together and lying concealed within terminal fissure of anal segment  
  • Total length: up to 30mm


    Taxonomic Checklist: Species
    Odontomyia amyris Walker
    Odontomyia annulipes Macquart
    Odontomyia carinata Macquart
    Odontomyia carinifacies Macquart
    Odontomyia decipiens Guérin-Méneville
    Odontomyia grandimaculata Hardy
    Odontomyia hunteri Macleay
    Odontomyia ialemus Walker
    Odontomyia kirchneri Jaennicke
    Odontomyia lateremaculata Macquart
    Odontomyia marginella Macquart
    Odontomyia minima Hardy
    Odontomyia opertanea White
    Odontomyia pallida Hill
    Odontomyia pectoralis Thomson
    Odontomyia picea Walker
    Odontomyia regisgeorgii Macquart
    Odontomyia rufifacies Macquart
    Odontomyia scutellata Macquart
    Odontomyia sidneyensis Schiner
    Odontomyia stricta Erichson
    Odontomyia stylata Macquart
    Odontomyia subdentata Macquart

    Distribution: Australia wide

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 2

    Functional Feeding Group: gathering collectors


    Watchingorra Creek nr Mitta Mitta, Vic

    Ecology: Stratiomyid adults are commonly known as ‘soldier flies’
    Instream habitat: Stratiomyid larvae occur in shallow areas of ponds and stream backwaters where they live in the sediment or amongst macrophytes. Larvae can be found in both saline and freshwaters and are able to tolerate polluted water.
    Feeding ecology: Larvae are gathering collectors feeding on decaying organic matter and micro-algae.
    Habit: Larvae are poor swimmers and slowly crawl along the sediment or float in the water column.
    Life history: Females lay up to 200 eggs in a group in the water. Larvae hatch after a couple of weeks and go through several larval instars before pupation. When the final instar is ready to pupate, the larva leaves the water but may not pupate for several days. Pupation occurs within the last larval skin and lasts for four weeks. Adults only live for a few days and it is possible that females mate on the day of emergence. Adults are usually present during spring or summer. There is one generation per year.


    Information Sources: Colless & McAlpine 1991, Hawking & Smith 1997, Wade et al. 2004, Elliot 2005, Williams 1980, Gooderham & Tsyrlin 2002, Evenhuis 2007, Merritt & Cummins 1996
    Key to Species: none