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Tachinid Fly: Juriniopsis (Juriniopsis adusta)

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

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An adult Tachinid Fly looks ugly, but grotesque diet of the larva feasts on a caterpillar's insides, saving the most important organs for until the end.

Updated: 07/14/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Tachinid Flies are covered in spiky black hairs. This species has a white face, red eyes, and a black body. A female Tachinid Fly will lay one or two fertilized eggs on, or near, a caterpillar. The caterpillar may even inadvertently eat the eggs as it chews through a leaf that the eggs were laid on. The fly maggot can also latch on to a passing caterpillar and promptly eat a hole into its body. The maggot then slowly feeds on the caterpillar's internal parts. Once it has mostly developed, it finally consumes the caterpillar's most necessary organs, killing the caterpillar. The culprit exits its dead host and moves to the ground where it will dig a hole to pupate in. Flying adults emerge from the ground.

The spiky, hairy adults drink nectar. Tachinid Fly larvae are efficient pest controllers for certain moth species. This particular species parasitizes some tiger moths and also some skipper species. Because of the parasitoid diet of their larvae, some species of Tachinid Fly have been deliberately imported from other continents to control destructive moth populations here in North America. However, some of these Tachinid Flies also eat caterpillars of much-loved native butterflies like the Monarch. Tachinid Flies are now a threat to those raising Monarchs, infecting at the caterpillar stage and killing in the chrysalis.

This particular species of Tachinid Fly can be found on flowers, in fields, parks or gardens during the summer and autumn. Look for big red eyes and spiky hairs on the abdomen to help differentiate them from House Flies.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Hairy 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: Juriniopsis
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            Species: adusta

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Juriniopsis adusta
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 15mm (0.35" to 0.59")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red; black; brown; orange
Descriptors: flying; hairy; spiky; pale green face;

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 9mm (0.4in) and 15mm (0.6in)
Lo: 9mm
Md: 12mm
Hi: 15mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Tachinid Fly: Juriniopsis 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 Tachinid Fly: Juriniopsis. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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