Beneficial Insects

Tachinid Fly

Tachinid Fly
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These flies are undistinguished-looking gray or brown flies covered with dark bristles. Most look like other common flies, but they differ markedly in their habits. Adult tachinid flies lay eggs on various caterpillars, beetles and bugs, usually near the head. The eggs hatch almost immediately, and the young maggots tunnel into their host. After feeding internally for a week or more, the tachinid fly larvae eventually kill the host insect.

The many kinds of tachinid flies are important natural controls of many insect pests, particularly caterpillars. However, tachinid flies rarely are observed by the average gardener, and their beneficial activities often are overlooked.