Broad Centurion

Chloromyia formosa

  1. Wildlife
  2. Invertebrates
  3. Flies
  4. Broad Centurion

About

Soldier flies are distinctive with very hairy eyes. Chloromya formosa, commonly known as the 'Broad Centurion' or 'Green Soldier Fly', is one of the commonest and most widespread soldier flies, and is often found in gardens. It breeds in damp, rotting vegetation, including compost heaps, and adults visit flowers to feed on nectar. The Barred Green Colonel Soldier Fly is much rarer, however, and classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

How to identify

The Broad Centurion has large eyes and rounded, brown, translucent wings. The females have a metallic blue-green body, while the males are more bronzy-green. However, there are almost 50 species of soldier fly in the UK, found in a wide variety of habitats. They are a colourful group of small to medium-sized flies, sometimes hairy but never bristly.

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

Many of our commonly overlooked insects are important pollinators for all kinds of plants, including those which we rely on like fruit trees. The Wildlife Trusts recognise the importance of healthy habitats to support all kinds of species throughout the food chain, so look after many nature reserves for the benefit of wildlife. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from coppicing to craft-making, to stockwatching to surveying.

Species information

Common name
Broad Centurion
Latin name
Chloromyia formosa
Category
Invertebrates
Flies
Statistics
Body length: 0.9-1cm
Conservation status
Common.