Subject:  Strange looking housefly I saw in my garden
Geographic location of the bug:  Kelowna, British Columbia
Date: 05/27/2019
Time: 08:38 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I took a photo of this fly I saw on a plant while I was weeding my flower garden on May 24th 2019. It looks like a cross between a housefly and a ladybug. I took several photos, but in the first one you can see the line of black dots on it’s red back.
How you want your letter signed:  Samantha C.

Tachinid Fly

Dear Samantha,
This is a beneficial Tachinid Fly a member of a family of parasitoid flies with larvae that prey upon a variety of 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.”  We believe based on this BugGuide image, your individual is in the genus
Gymnosoma.  According to BugGuide:  “Hosts are Pentatomidae bugs.  Adults take nectar.”  Pentatomidae includes Stink Bugs and Shield Bugs, many of which are agricultural pests.  The Master Gardener Program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has a nice page on Tachinid Flies.

Location: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

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