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Beris chalybata
Beris chalybata

Murky-legged Black Legionnaire
The murky-legged black legionnaire (Beris chalybata) of the order Diptera, suborder Brachycera, family soldier flies (Stratiomyidae), and the subfamily Beridinae, belongs to the genus Beris. This species is encountered commonly, almost everywhere in the world. These medium-sized flies reach body lengths of up to 10 mm. They are dark green and have a metallic sheen.

They have a dark head with large, oval, dark red compound eyes and short, strong, dark sensors. Their chest is slightly hairy. At the rear edge of the scutellum areoften a number of curved spikes, hence the family name "soldier flies". Their halteres are whitish in colour, their legs are long and yellow and their feet are dark. The abdomen of the murky-legged black legionnaire appears flattened.

The murky-legged black legionnaire lives in humid forests or in forest edges. It can be seen in early summer on sunlit leaves, flying, or sitting in bushes, hedges or other flowering plants, where it feeds on pollen and nectar and sometimes also on the substrate of rotten plants. It can be found occasionally at dung heaps and also lives in other habitats. The murky-legged black legionnaire is defenseless against its enemies, as are all soldier flies.

Females lay eggs individually on rotting plants. In this humid environment, the larvae develop. Their bodies are uniform in shape, flattened and tapered at the end. They have leathery skin, which is strengthened like a shield in the course of their development in limestone deposits. This also protects them against dehydration. At the end of their abdomen are the remains? of a breathing tube which was not used and is therefore atrophied. The larvae have respiratory openings (stigma/spiracles) which are always open. On the chest (prothorax) the respiratory openings are very big in size. The larvae overwinter. They pupate in spring, in a hardened larval skin. The adult flies leave this through a T-shaped slit.

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Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Beris chalybata
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