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Repetitive Tachinid Fly (Peleteria iterans)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Repetitive Tachinid Fly

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Image Credit: Joy C., taken in Colorado,
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Image Credit: Sue D. from Denver, CO
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What the Repetitive Tachinid Fly lacks in looks, it makes up for in ecological importance.

Updated: 08/15/2023; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Many might not believe that flies are an important member of an ecosystem. Hairy little 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 caterpillars. A insect like the Repetitive Tachinid Fly helps keep caterpillar numbers in check, sparing food producing plants. This orange fly has spiky, black hairs around the sides and rear end, and a few that cross the body. Black dots form a row down the middle of its body. The face, head, legs, and wings are black.

Female flies lay a fertilized egg either directly on, or in front of, a hungry moth caterpillar and is consumed. The egg hatches and the fly larva, called a maggot, proceeds to eat the caterpillar to death, from the inside. This makes the fly larva a parasitoid, unlike a parasite which moves on to another host before killing its current host. Adult flies drink flower nectar, especially from asters and their plant relatives. They are most active from summer and into autumn and can be found in a variety of habitats like woods, open fields, marshes, coastlines, meadows, parks, and forests.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Fast insect icon
Hairy insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Spiny / Spiky insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Diptera
        Family: Tachinidae
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          Genus: Peleteria
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            Species: iterans

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Peleteria iterans
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 13mm (0.35" to 0.51")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow, black
Descriptors: spots, hairy, stout, bristles, spiky, fast, fat, dots, spots

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 9mm (0.4in) and 13mm (0.5in)
Lo: 9mm
Md: 11mm
Hi: 13mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
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Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Repetitive Tachinid Fly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Repetitive Tachinid Fly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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