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Tachinid Fly


Photo © by Mike Plagens

This insect was photographed using a Nikon CoolPix 990 in Aug. 2002 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Tachinidae -- a Family of Parasitoid Flies

Tachinids may look like typical flies but are anything but. Most are parasites of other insects developing as a maggot on or within their host. A morbid existence from the human perspective, yet very beneficial to many human endeavors such as agriculture. Caterpillars, for example, are a frequent host tachind fly emerged from larva of Danaus gilipus. Photo © Michael Plagens and many are destroyed thus curtailing crop loss. Most species are rather specific in their host preference relying on usually one or a few closely related insects/spiders.

The tachinid fly at right emerged from a Queen Butterfly caterpillar.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009