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

Tachinidae on flower of Ocotillo photo © by Mike Plagens

Adult tachinid flies are frequent flower visitors and may be important pollinators. Sentinel Plain, s.w. Maricopa Co., Arizona. March 2019. Ocotillo blooms.

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 and many are destroyed thus curtailing crop losses. Most species are rather specific in their host preference relying on usually one or a few closely related insects/spiders. There are many hundreds of species to be found in the Sonoran Desert. Most are poorly studied.
tachind fly emerged from larva of Danaus gilipus. Photo © Michael Plagens

The tachinid fly above emerged from a Queen Butterfly caterpillar.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 14 Sept. 2002,
updated 13 Dec. 2020.