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Bee-Like Tachinid Fly (Hystricia abrupta)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Bee-Like Tachinid Fly, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 2/5/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Bee-Like Tachinid Fly  
Picture of Bee-Like-Tachinid-Fly
Picture of Bee-Like-Tachinid-Fly Picture of Bee-Like-Tachinid-FlyPicture of Bee-Like-Tachinid-Fly

The Bee-Like Tachinid Fly looks like an unsightly, hairy mess, but this fly is very useful in controlling nuisance insects.

Bee-Like Tachinid Fly larvae are lethal predators to insects people may find problematic. Most of these fly larvae feed on the caterpillars of pesky moth species. Because of their diet, some Tachinid Flies have been deliberately imported from other areas to control destructive moth populations. The female Bee-Like Tachinid Fly lays a couple of fertilized eggs on or near a moth caterpillar. The caterpillar may inadvertently eat the eggs as it chews on the leaf the eggs were on. A larva will feed on its internal parts until the caterpillar dies. The fly larva will then drop to the ground and dig a burrow where it will pupate and develop into a flying adult.

Adults have red bodies that get darker at the tip of the abdomen. Color variations exist with individuals. Some are more yellow, or orange, while others are more red. A black line runs down the center of the body. It is covered in black, spiky hairs. Transparent wings flare out to the sides at an angle. This particular species of Tachinid Fly can be found on flowers or in marshy areas during the summer and autumn. Adults drink nectar.

Picture of the Bee-Like Tachinid Fly
Picture of the Bee-Like Tachinid Fly

Bee-Like Tachinid Fly Information

Category: Fly or Mosquito
Common Name: Bee-Like Tachinid Fly
Scientific Name: Hystricia abrupta

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Diptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Tachinidiae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Hystricia
       Arrow graphic Species: abrupta

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 10 mm to 13 mm (0.39 inches to 0.507 inches)
Identifying Colors: black, red, orange, yellow
Additional Descriptors: hairy, flying, spiky

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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