Rare Soldier Fly Stratiomys singularior (Harris 1776) at Upton Warren

By Kevin McGee

During the recorders' meeting at Upton Warren 31.7.99 I photographed a large fly I had never seen before. She was in the process of ovipositing on the surface of a Typha leaf. Immediately apparent was the broad flattened abdomen crossed with alternate creamy-yellow and black bands, and its large size - about 15 mms in length. The situation was not good for photography. I was sinking in the mud and the long Typha leaf was swaying gently in the breeze! I had alerted Mike Averill, who was nearby, to this curious fly I did'nt recognize. The plan was for him to try and 'tube' the specimen as I was not confident of getting a spon-on photograph. However after just three shots the fly departed as Mike approached. She did not return!

A couple of slides were actually OK and on looking through my general insect books it was obvious that the species in question was a Stratiomys, all of which are generally uncommon, but which one? The answer was supplied by Malcolm Smart who identified it as Stratiomys singularior (Harris 1776) , female.

It is listed as a nationally notable B species with most records coming from coastal areas in the southern half of the country, brackish lagoons being the favoured habitat. John Meiklejohn is searching the archives to see if there are any other records for the species in Worcestershire.


CHINERY, M 1993 Collins Pocket Guide to the Insects for Britain and Western Europe. Harper-Collins.

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