On a Brown-eyed Susan on a warm sunny day in the open wildflower section of this acre. Here it is feeding on pollen, which you can also see on the lower portion of its legs.
This species of Tachinid is a large species and can sometimes be mistaken for certain types of bees.
Top view as it sits on the leaf of a wild legume plant in a sunny location on the property where the wildflowers thrive. As this photo shows, this fly is heavily bristled.
Another view. This one is also on a Brown-eyed Susan, a young, newly budding one.
Tachinid Flies are known to be parasitic. You can see it going after a larva. These flies parasitize them, using them as a host to lay their eggs, which will feed from the host for a time.
Some flies in the Tachinid family are considered to be unwanted parasites because some species go after Monarch larvae. But this Tachinid species is considered beneficial because they go after larva species which are often considered troublesome.
Two flies on a Brown-eyed Susan.
Being preyed upon by a jumping spider. Spiders are one of the Tachinid Fly’s most frequent predators.
A Few Details About This Species:
Range – Throughout much of North and South America.
Habitat – Adults can be found on flowers. Eggs can be found on the underside of hosts. Larvae burrow into the host, feeding on it and eventually killing it.
Diet – Adults feed on flower nectar (also known to be pollinators of some flowers with strong odor). Larvae feed on Forest Tent Caterpillars and Fall Webworms, in addition to the Tomato Fruitworm, Corn Earworm, and Cutworms.
Other – Its genus name, Archytas, is thought to be named after the Greek classical philosopher and mathematician Archytas.
They are very helpful to farmers because they are parasitoids on harmful caterpillars.
Predators include spiders, birds, centipedes and robber flies. Humans are the largest threat because of insecticides and pesticides, however, overall concern for this species is low.