Subject: Giant Tachinid Fly
Geographic location of the bug: Arlington, WA
Time: 02:13 PM EDT
I have two what looks like Giant Tachinid flies on my mint outside this week. I took a number of photos as it looked way different than any I’ve seen. It really looks like Giant, but according to all research I have found, its not located anywhere here .. only Europe and that region. Are there Giant species here? This was the size of a larger bumblebee.. so I noticed it at once.. stiff bristles on a smooth black body with orange head and wings.. so it stood out. Funny enough the photos I find are all in the UK on mint as well. Thank you for any clarification on this species.
How you want your letter signed: Sammy Catiis
Tachinid Fly is a name used for a member of the parasitoid family Tachinidae. According to BugGuide, a site dedicated to North American sightings: “Second largest dipteran family (after Tipulidae), with ~1350 spp. in >300 genera of 4 subfamilies in our area(1) and >10,000 spp. in ~1600 genera worldwide; it is possible that only half of the species have been described.” We searched for images of the Giant Tachinid Fly, and we found an image on Alamy from Wales that is identified as Tachina grossa and it has a light collar of hairs behind the head, a distinctive feature also found on your individual. The genus is also found in North America, and this BugGuide image also has the light collar. Data indicates the genus is found in Washington. Congratulations on identifying your individual to the genus level. According to BugGuide “40 spp. in 2 subgenera in our area” but most of the individuals posted to BugGuide are not identified to the species level, so we suspect they are difficult to identify from images.