Broad Centurion

Broad Centurion ©Laurence Livermore

Broad centurion

Scientific name: Chloromyia formosa
The Broad centurion, or 'Green soldier fly', is one of our most common soldier flies, and is often found in gardens. It has hairy eyes and a metallic blue or bronze body. It is an important pollinator.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 1cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to August

About

Soldier flies are distinctive - they have very hairy eyes. 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. The Broad centurion, or 'Green soldier fly', is one of the most common and widespread of the 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.

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.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Soldier flies are named after the smart, bright colours and regular patterns they often display, giving the appearance of uniforms.

How people can help

Many of our often-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, stockwatching to surveying.