The Black Soldier Fly has experienced a significant expansion in its distribution since the late 20th century. Originally native to the Neotropical realm, it has now established its presence across all continents, showcasing a remarkable adaptability to diverse environments.
Adult Black Soldier Flies are medium-sized, measuring about 16 millimeters in length, with a predominantly black body that exhibits metallic reflections ranging from blue to green. Their mimicry of the organ pipe mud dauber wasp is enhanced by elongated antennae, pale hind tarsi, and transparent “windows” in the basal abdominal segments, creating a wasp-like appearance.
A single female Black Soldier Fly can lay between 206 and 639 eggs, which hatch in about 4 days. The larvae are highly adaptable, capable of feeding on a wide variety of organic matter and adjusting to different nutrient contents.
Only the larval stage is used for food applications. The larvae go through 5-10 days of rapid feeding and growth before entering a non-feeding prepupal stage. The prepupae convert into pupae that metamorphose into 2-3 week adult flies.