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signal fly


A signal fly of the family Platystomatidae subfamily Scholastinae. It resembles a fly which has been tentatively identified as a "school girl signal fly" owing to its color patterns, on this link where the possible genesis of this common name is discussed. Signal flies are worldwide in distribution predominating in the tropics. They are are very variable in external appearance, ranging from small (2.5 mm), slender species to large (20 mm), robust individuals, often with body colours having a distinctive metallic lustre and with face and wings usually patterned with dark spots or bands. Adults are found on tree trunks and foliage and are attracted to flowers, decaying fruit, excrement, sweat, and decomposing snails. Larvae are found on fresh and in decaying vegetation, carrion, and root nodules. Most larvae are either phytophagous (eating plant material) or saprophagous (eating decomposing organic matter). Some are predatory on other insects and others have been found in human lesions, while others are of minor agricultural significance.


Spotted in a large semi-urban yard & garden adjacent to a disturbed patch of remnant lowland forest.


Third photo displays the natural lighting conditions.

No species ID suggestions


MayraSpringmann 5 years ago

Wow!! Wonderful colours!

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 6 years ago

Thanks Cindy!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Oh no! Where do they get those glasses.

CindyBinghamKeiser 6 years ago

Hi S Frazier, this is a Signal Fly and looks quite similar to opzjon's spotting:


Lat: -2.56, Long: 140.50

Spotted on Jan 25, 2012
Submitted on Feb 13, 2012

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