Currently viewing the category: "Tachinid Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tachinid Fly of Australia
Location: South-East Tasmania
December 14, 2014 8:21 pm
Photo taken 11 Dec 2014, SE Tasmania. Copyright David Irwin, 2014.
Nikon D7100; 150.0-600.0 mm f/5.0-6.3; F.L. 600mm.
My husband photographed this blowfly sitting above the headlight of our car. It was approximately the size of a human thumb. [Ed Note:  This should be thumb nail.] This photo shows great detail in the face of the fly. I have several images, as the fly stayed put, no matter how close we came. Though we couldn’t get too close, because on that occasion, David had the large 600mm zoom mounted and needed to get a few metres away for it to focus. It also had a very deep hum when it eventually flew off (when I went to compare size to my thumb[nail]). However, the one posted here is the clearest. Hand holding a heavy zoom lense is difficult.
This bug website (Whats This Bug) has 2 distinctly different Tachinid Flies (with a striking white band) on file, one is the ‘Bristle Fly’, or Amphibolia Vidua (my photo submitted), and one is the Formosia Specia, which is detailed in this scientific record:
http://biocache.ala.org.au/occurrences/1f1319a4-d231-4b1c-acf2-86627aff3fb9;jsessionid=9203058C513D7BAD7223F7123AD42FA6
Both flies look similar, but there are distinct differences – I have also detailed the two flies in my FB post here:
https://www.facebook.com/tasmanianartist/photos/a.10154934951460015.1073741869.204763860014/10154928182185015/?type=3&theater
with more photos from flickr, and ‘Atlas of Living Australia’.
What I’ve been able to find out is that Amphibolia vidua has 2 black dots on the white band [and even if they join, they still are identifyable as 2], and Formosia Specia has one black dot on the white band, with 2 white extensions towards the fly’s tail. Their eyes are set differently, too. Both occur in Tasmania, and Australian mainland.
cheers from down under
Signature: Marlies

Bristle Fly

Bristle Fly

Dear Marlies,
Thanks for your rigorous pursuit of the identity of your Bristle Fly,
Amphibolia vidua, and also for explaining the differences between this species and Formosia (Euamphibolia) speciosa, another Bristle Fly or Tachinid Fly in the same family.

Hello Daniel
What a journey that was! A fly took charge of almost an entire week! But it was fun :-)
I must say, I was a little distracted by my heart monitor, and other associated ‘things’, and haven’t exactly paid attention too much whether I made any sense at all – I do apologize if I confused everyone.
My husband photographed Amphibolia Vidua. This is the image I submitted. I then found another image attached to the Australian site ‘Atlas of Living Australia’, of which I posted the link (http://biocache.ala.org.au/occurrences/1f1319a4-d231-4b1c-acf2-86627aff3fb9;jsessionid=9203058C513D7…); THAT image on that site was of the Formosia Speciosa image that I mentioned. (Yes, both are Tachinid Flies, or Bristle Flies – that took a while to sink in with me, as I had no idea that there was any difference between a fly and a fly, before all of this – tho I know there are flies here that look like honey bees, and they wait for honey bees to come along, then ambush and kill them, I’ve observed them do it).
Here is the link to the image details – I think you may be able to link to the photo (which brings the photo up on your site). http://images.ala.org.au/image/details?imageId=b963f524-b62f-494e-bfde-db2b9b04115c
You also have a photo of a Formosia Speciosa (post titled ‘Australian Tachinid Fly appears to be Formosia speciosa’, and it is the one where I posted all of my ‘findings’, and where you replied to my expansive ramblings).
So, you do have both flies; they’re difficult to distinguish, but somehow, by counting the dots, I managed to join them (pardon the pun). And others clearly identify the Amphibolia Vidua – I’ve posted the relevant flickr posts on my facebook thread about the fly …
https://www.facebook.com/tasmanianartist/photos/a.10154934951460015.1073741869.204763860014/10154928
It’s been a real pleasure fiddling with a peculiar blow fly for once, and to leaf through your website – what a treasure trove; great stuff – love it. If I ever come across a bug again that I can’t identify, your website will certainly be my #1 stop.
I hope that you’ll correct my typo, which says the fly is about the size of a ‘human thumb’ … it certainly is not, it is the size of a HUMAN THUMB NAIL – and I did it twice in the same text.
Best wishes to you
cheerio from downunder
Marlies

Sue Dougherty, Jacob Helton, Amy Gosch liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Possibly Field Crescent

Possibly Field Crescent

Subject: A mystery white, and a checkerspot?
Location: Larimer county, CO, 8100′
October 10, 2014 8:46 am
A couple butterflies I hope you can help with. Both taken same location. Larimer county, Colorado foothills, 8100 feet elevation. October 8, 2014. Warm day, but well past 1st frost. … The second, I believe, is Gorgone checkerspot. Chlosyne gorgone, but not 100% certain. Sorry no pic of underside of this guy.
Signature: Matt in CO

Hi again Matt,
We are not fully convinced that this is a Gorgone Checkerspot, as your individual appears to have different markings than the individuals pictured on BugGuide.  We believe this might be a Field Crescent,
Phyciodes pulchella, which is also pictured on BugGuide, or perhaps a Painted Crescent, Phyciodes picta, which is also pictured on BugGuide.  Perhaps someone with better identification skills can assist us with this identification.  We believe the fly in the image might be a Tachinid Fly.

Thanks again. You may well be right. Both look good, but I especially like field crescent. My ID was largely based on http://www.birrellfineart.com/Big%20Picture%20Pages/c57%20gorgone%20checkerspot%200017%20big.htm, which, of course, could also be wrongly ID’d

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Another example of Tachinid Fly with Fungus Infection??
Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom
October 6, 2014 3:21 am
Hi all,
I think this is another example (found 6th October 2014) of a Tachinid Fly with the pathogenic fungus Enthomphthora Muscae, it just looks as if it flew straight into my back door and died on impact. Possibly the same as on your web page:  http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2009/12/25/tachinid-fly-we-believe/
Can you please confirm that it is a Tachinid Fly? As I don’t believe there are any ‘natural’ black and white stripped fly’s here in the UK that look like this one.
Kind regards
Signature: Milly – Birmingham (UK)

Tachinid Fly with Fungus Infection

Tachinid Fly with Fungus Infection

Hi Millie,
We agree with both your identification and your diagnosis.  As Karl indicated in the link you provided:  “There are numerous photos on the internet that look very similar to this this. The white banding occurs as the fungus bursts out between the abdominal segments (presumably just before the victim expires).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug Love – Flies from Italy
Location: Italy (Lazio)
October 6, 2014 3:59 am
Hey Bugman,
These two flies were flying around one on top of the other, and they eventually landed on a plant.
I am not particularly curious of the species. I just wanted to send you this for the Bug Love section.
Ciao, Saverio
Signature: Saverio

Mating Tachinid Flies

Mating Tachinid Flies

Dear Saverio,
Our hunch was that these were mating Tachinid Flies, and upon doing some research, we found we are correct.  We initially identified them as
Ectophasia crassipennis on the Insects of France website where we learned:  “This fly lives in southern Europe and in the warm parts of Central Europe. Not in the Netherlands like some other members of the subfamily. … Males and females are different. The brownish yellow abdomen of the male has a wide black stripe.  The female lays the eggs directly into the host  the shield bug (Pentatomidae)  Length 5 – 9 mm. May – September.”  We verified the identification on another French site.

Amy Gosch liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fly on calico asters
Location: Kent County, Michigan USA
September 21, 2014 3:57 pm
What is the name of this cool fly I found enjoying calico asters in Michigan in late September? Thanks!
Signature: Patricia

Tachinid Fly

Tachinid Fly

Dear Patricia,
This is a Tachinid Fly in the family Tachinidae, but we are not certain of the species.  Tachinid Flies are parasitic on other insects and arthropods.  According to BugGuide:  “Larval stages are parasitoids of other arthropods; hosts include members of 11 insect orders, centipedes, spiders, and scorpions. Some tachinids are very host-specific, others parasitize a wide variety of hosts. The most common hosts are caterpillars. Most tachinids deposit their eggs directly on the body of their host, and it is not uncommon to see caterpillars with several tachinid eggs on them. Upon hatching the larva usually burrows into its host and feeds internally. Full-grown larva leaves the host and pupates nearby. Some tachinids lay their eggs on foliage; the larvae are flattened and are called planidia; they remain on the foliage until they find a suitable host.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is it?
Location: Oceanside, NY
August 19, 2014 8:20 pm
Don’t have a clue. This bug, feasting on Japanese Knotweed, could be a bee, a fly or even a moth, as far as I know…..
Signature: CarlF

Tachinid Fly

Tachinid Fly

Hi CarlF,
This is a beneficial, parasitic Tachinid Fly, but we cannot tell you the exact species at this time.  Tachinid Flies are often very host specific and they are often important biological control agents that parasitize other insects and arthropods.

Tachinid Fly

Tachinid Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination