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Garden Soldier Fly

Exaireta spinigera

Identifying Characteristics

  • body length of about 14 mm
  • dark band on the outer half of each wing
  • three pairs of dark legs, the back pair longer than the others
  • four large spines on the rear of the thorax
This is a photograph of a Garden Soldier Fly. 2 images
This is a map of British Columbia showing the spread of invasive species.
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A backyard newcomer that likes your compost heap.

The Garden Soldier Fly is a new insect to the province. It lives in the back garden, the compost heap, in the house near fruits and vegetables — anywhere it might find some juicy, rotting plants. The adult flies and their larvae feed on decaying organic matter.

Impact on Communities and Native Species

While some flies transmit plant and animal diseases, this species doesn't appear to be a pest.

Invasion History

The Garden Soldier Fly appeared in British Columbia around 2002, possibly arriving with potted plants or rotting vegetation from either California or Hawaii. This tiny alien has been recorded in southwestern BC and probably is, or will be, widespread throughout this area.

The species is native to Australia and has been introduced to New Zealand, Hawaii and California. It arrived in Hawaii in the 1890s and in California about 1985.