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

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Colourful fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Oak Beach qld
Date: 02/14/2019
Time: 09:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Spotted this beautiful fly.  First time I have seen one like this.  Just wondering what it is
How you want your letter signed:  Rhonda

Tachinid Fly

Dear Rhonda,
This is a parasitic Tachinid Fly, and 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. Some 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.”  Your individual resembles this colorful Tachinid Fly from New Guinea.  The Museums Victoria Collection has a similar looking individual identified in the genus Rutilia.  This Rutilia species on FlickR also looks similar, but not exactly correct.  The Brisbane Insect site has images of several species in the genus Rutilia, and we believe the genus is correct, but we are not certain of the species.  Tachinid Flies are called Bristle Flies in Australia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bristle Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mittagong NSW
Date: 01/26/2019
Time: 10:42 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this today. Is it a Bristle Fly?
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks and regards, Paul

Tachinid Fly

Dear Paul,
This is a Tachinid Fly in the family Tachinidae, and members of this family are sometimes called Bristle Flies in Australia, but we are not entirely certain if that name is used for the entire family or just a few species, like
Amphibolia vidua which is represented on our site under the common name Bristle Fly.  We believe your individual is a different species, possibly Formosia speciosa, which is pictured on the Brisbane Insect site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Chrysalis in SE Michigan
Geographic location of the bug:  SE Michigan
Date: 10/19/2018
Time: 11:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These (2) are in my yard.  The immediate area is a vernal marsh area, with swamp milkweed.  They are not on the milkweed, but it is close by.
How you want your letter signed:  Bill Jones

Parasitized Monarch Chrysalis

Dear Bill,
Physically, this appears to be a Monarch chrysalis, however the color is not normal.  A normal Monarch chrysalis is bright green with gold flecks, and as it nears the time for the adult to emerge, the orange wings appears through the exoskeleton.  Your chrysalis appears to have fallen prey to a parasite, probably a Tachinid Fly like the chrysalis pictured on Monarch Lover

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Feather-legged Fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover, NJ
Date: 08/15/2018
Time: 12:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  In addition to the colorful T. pennipes, I had this larger feather-legged fly in my mountain mint patch today.  My best guess is that it is T.  lanipes.  It was quite large and had the most beautiful wings. It’s under-belly was an orange-red color, which was kind of a surprise.   Did I land on the right id?
How you want your letter signed:  Deborah Bifulco

Feather-Legged Fly

Hi Deborah,
The last time you submitted images of a Feather Legged Fly, we originally thought it was
Trichopoda pennipes, but upon further contemplation, we believe it was Trichopoda lanipes.  We agree with you that this is also most likely Trichopoda lanipes.  We especially like that there is a Metallic Sweat Bee in the bottom of one of your images.

Feather-Legged Fly

Feather-Legged Fly and Metallic Sweat Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  fly wings be body
Geographic location of the bug:  Shade Gap, Pa
Date: 08/04/2018
Time: 04:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I always pay attention to the insect world and the pictures I have I will send to you hoping you know. I have lived in the mountains for a long time and the bug I am seeing on flowers has fly wings but a bee body. This is the first year I am seeing these
How you want your letter signed:  Eric J Mazzi

Black Tachinid Flies on Goldenrod

Dear Eric,
This turned out to be a very easy identification for us.  We had a general ID upon looking at your image of parasitoid Tachinid Flies, a group of insects that are important pollinators as adults, and with larvae that parasitize various groups of insects and arthropods.  Tachinid Flies are very host specific.  Some species will only prey upon caterpillars from a single family, genus or even species, while others are just as picky about preying upon Spiders.  We quickly identified your Black Tachinid Flies as members of the genus
Leschenaultia thanks to this BugGuide image, and according to BugGuide:  “recorded hosts include various Arctiidae, Malacosoma (Lasiocampidae), Hemileuca (Saturniidae), and some other moths.”  Your image is also the first we have posted this year of goldenrod, so we are tagging it as a Goldenrod Meadow posting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination