Monday, November 24, 2014

Tachinid fly

The tachinid fly Hystricia abrupta is a large, very spiny fly, not uncommonly found on flowers in the forest openings and wet glades in summer and early fall. 

Flies of the family Tachinidae are highly diverse (more than 8000 species known and still counting) and almost exclusively internal parasites of other insects, especially caterpillars. Our bug of the day is going after caterpillars and pupae of various tiger moths.

Tachinid females have different ways to place their eggs with the hosts. Among the methods they use to infect their subjects are the species that place large eggs directly on the body of the host, others place tiny, eggs on leaves or other foodstuffs being consumed by the host, or the third group, which retains their eggs until maturity; these eggs hatch immediately upon being laid on or near the target.

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