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The yellow dung fly Scathophaga stercoraria (L.) (Diptera: Scathophagidae) is a widespread and locally abundant fly associated with the dung of large mammals, especially farm animals. This species has recently become a standard test organism for evaluating toxic effects of veterinary pharmaceuticals in livestock dung. In this context, a review of its natural history and a general description of the field and laboratory rearing methods of this species are provided here to benefit the scientific community as well as government regulators and applicants of eco-toxicological studies. For guidance, means and ranges are included for all relevant standard life history traits stemming from previously published data on Swiss populations.