What the Repetitive Tachinid Fly lacks in looks, it makes up for in ecological importance it controls damaging moth populations.
Few would think that flies would be such important members of an ecosystem. Tachinid flies, though somewhat unusual in appearance, are considered important biological controls. Each species is a parasitoid for a type of moth. Moths can be destructive to plants thanks to the voracious appetites of their larval caterpillars. A parasitoid like the Repetitive Tachinid Fly helps keep caterpillar numbers in check, sparing food producing plants.
Female flies lay a fertilized egg either directly on, or in front of, a hungry moth caterpillar. The egg will hatch and the fly larva (maggot) proceeds to eat the caterpillar to death, from the inside. This makes the fly larva a parasitoid, not a parasite that usually moves on to another host before killing its current host.
Adult flies drink flower nectar, especially from asters and their relatives. They are most active from summer and into autumn. They can be found in a variety of habitats: woods, open fields, marshes, coastlines, meadows, parks and forests.
Scientific Name: Peleteria iterans
Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 13mm (0.35in to 0.51in)
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