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(invertebrate zoology)
The tachina flies, a family of bristly, grayish or black Diptera whose larvae are parasitic in caterpillars and other insects.



(tachina flies), a family of brachycerous dipterous insects. There are about 5,000 species of tachina flies, which are found in virtually all parts of the world. Adult flies are encountered on flowers and leaves, where they feed on nectar and manna. The flies are active in sunny weather.

The larvae of most tachina flies are endoparasites of other insects. The flies parasitize their hosts in a variety of ways. Those that parasitize leaf-eating caterpillars deposit their eggs on the leaves eaten by their hosts. Those that infest soil-dwelling invertebrates deposit their eggs on the ground, and the larvae, upon hatching, migrate through the soil in search of a host. In many cases, eggs are deposited only in the presence of the host; certain tachina flies deposit eggs directly into the body of an insect after puncturing its integument. Some species are viviparous.

At first, tachina larvae do not harm vital organs; however, when fully developed, they secrete large quantities of juices that completely digest the host’s tissues. The flies generally pupate in soil. Many tachinid species are specialized predators that only infest certain insect species; for example, representatives of the subfamily Fasiinae prey on hemipterans, those of the subfamily Dixiinae on beetles, and those of the subfamily Tachininae on butterflies and moths. The only ectoparasite among the tachina flies is Myiobia bezziana, which is found in India. Its larvae attack caterpillars and suck out their tissues through the integument.

Since tachina flies are natural enemies of many insect pests and help control their numbers, they are regarded as beneficial insects. Certain species have been successfully introduced in various countries to control the Colorado potato beetle, the Japanese beetle, the gypsy moth, and other pests.


Opredelitel’ nasekomykh Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR, vol. 5, no. 2. Leningrad, 1970.
Herting, B. Biologie des Westpaläarktischen Raupenfliegen (Dipt., Tachinidae). Hamburg-Berlin, 1960.


References in periodicals archive ?
While I spotted the tachinid fly on plants on moorland, it can be spotted on peat bogs, in forests and, if you really unlucky, gardens.
No previous study has been conducted to evaluate the incidence of tachinid flies parasitizing D.
To assess the more mobile insect groups, such as syrphids, tachinids, lacewings and wasps, the number of visitors to each plant was observed and recorded for 2 minutes.
Tachinid puparia collected from the different resources of the nesting materials were hyperparasitized by two species of Hymenoptera, the pteromalid Dibrachys cavus (Walker) and D.
Parasitizing wasps and tachinid flies lay their eggs in a host insect, such as a caterpillar (Figs.
New records of two Brachymeria species (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) hyperparasiting tachinid parasitoids of Antheraea prylei Jolly (Lepidoptera: Saturnidae) from north-eastern of India.
The team is also working on spray strategies that will protect the wasps, tachinid flies, and other beneficial insects if use of chemical controls for other pests, such as codling moths, is unavoidable.
A larva of a tachinid parasitoid, Patelloa xanthura (Wulp), emerged from one of the pupae (in this case, the reddish brown color of the pupa persisted for five days).
sp.), an ichneumonid wasp (Campoletis sp.), and the tachinid fly, Phyrxe pecosensis, Townsend (Doak 1997).
Their fields, orchards, and gardens teem with ladybird beetles (ladybugs), lacewings, big-eyed bugs, and other predators, with tachinid flies, parasitic wasps, and other parasitoids as backup.
Tachinid Fly--Any fly of the family Tachinidae, whose larvae are beneficial as insect control, as they are parasitic on many noxious insects.
Spodoptera ornithogallii (Family Noctuidae) bears the tiny, oblong, white egg of a parasitic tachinid fly on its thorax (left).