Black soldier fly larvae are welcome residents of compost piles designed for bioconversion, the process of turning decomposing matter into food.

Food waste, for example, will entice a female fly to deposit hundreds of eggs where larvae can soon hatch & feed.

This larvae will fatten up on the compost, speeding its decomposition.

Then, being rich in protein and fat, the larvae can be used as feed for animals like chickens, pigs, and fish.

101_3032edcropBThis photogenic lot (the largest just under an inch) turned up on some banana peels near the top of a regular old pile of leaf & grass compost by Little Crum Creek.

That one to the lower right looks like a black soldier fly larva’s sixth & last stage of growth.

A pupa eventually develops within this skin on the way to complete metamorphosis.

And here an adult fly emerges from the shell of its old self.

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If not accustomed to seeing this fly, there’s probably a good reason.

Friends of the black soldier fly note that it’s not a pest.

It’s not that interested in bugging you or entering your house. It doesn’t bite. And it’s not known to spread disease.

This fly is one of our composting effort’s many collaborators.

Its larvae, surely, is food for local birds and others.

I returned to the pile & set it free.

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