Drab Wood Soldier-fly

Solva marginata


Body length 6 to 7mm. A dark bodied fly with black legs with yellow femora and a yellow scutellum. There are pale bands between the tergites of the abdomen and the eyes are black. There is a narrow yellow line along the side of the thorax, which may also have grey dusting.


The larvae feed on dead and decaying wood, normally of poplars, although some other woods are sometimes used. The adults can be found on foliage or the trunks of the breeding tree.

Status and distribution

Uncommon and very local, but spread over most of southern England except the West Country. Rare in Nottinghamshire and recorded once at Netherfield Lagoons.

Best time to see

May to August.