Feather Legged Fly

Wasp Moth?
Hello Bugman:
I live in the Williamsport, Pennsylvania area. Here are some photos of a bug I have taken in the past few days. He is seen feeding on the goldenrod amongst many other bees and wasps. It is a little over an inch long. I can’t tell if it is a bee, wasp, moth or some combination. Any help would be appreciated.

Hi Alex,
This beauty is a Feather Legged Fly, Trichopoda pennipes, one of the Tachinid Flies. According to BugGuide: “Adult female lays one to several eggs on a hemipteran host. The larvae hatch from the eggs and burrow directly into the bug’s body, though only one larva will survive within each host. The larva feeds on the host internally and eventually a large cream-colored maggot exits from body of the bug (which soon dies). The maggot pupates in a dark reddish-brown puparium in the soil and emerges as an adult about two weeks later. There are up to three generations a year depending on location, and larvae may overwinter in the bodies of overwintering hosts.” and “Often used as biological control of hemipteran pest species such as squash bugs, stink bugs, and plant bugs. May hover above squash plants in search of prey.” The black tipped abdomen is a signal that this is a female fly.

1 thought on “Feather Legged Fly”

Leave a Comment