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. Wood-soldierflies belong to the family Xylomyidae of which there are only two genera and so this species has been put with the Soldierflies, Stratiomyidae, for convenience.
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.