The Tachinid Fly is a parasitic fly that is an important beneficial insect that plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and stability of ecosystems.
Where to find them
Tachinid flies are found all over the world.
They have a distinctive appearance, with a plump, slightly hairy body and large, bristly antennae. The color of Tachinid flies can vary, but they are generally gray or black with white or gray markings.
Tachinid flies have two wings, which are transparent or grayish in color and have distinctive veins. They have large compound eyes and a proboscis, which they use to feed on nectar, plant sap, and other sweet substances.
The life cycle of Tachinid flies involves a complete metamorphosis, including four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Here is a brief overview of each stage:
Egg: Tachinid flies lay their eggs on the bodies of other insects, such as caterpillars, beetle larvae, and stink bugs. The eggs are small and white, and they typically hatch within a few days to a week.
Larva: Once the eggs hatch, the larvae emerge and begin feeding on the host insects. Tachinid fly larvae are legless and have a plump, segmented body. They feed on the host insects for several days to a few weeks, depending on the species and the host.
Pupa: After several days to a few weeks of feeding, the Tachinid fly larvae form a pupa, which is a protective casing that covers the pupal stage. Inside the pupa, the larvae undergo metamorphosis and develop into adult flies.
Adult: After several days to a few weeks, the adult Tachinid flies emerge from the pupa and are ready to mate and lay eggs on new hosts. Tachinid flies feed on nectar and other sweet substances, and they typically live for several weeks to a few months, depending on the species.
Why a Beneficial Insect?
Tachinid flies are beneficial insects for several reasons:
Pest control: Tachinid flies are known for their parasitic behavior, laying their eggs on or inside the bodies of other insects. This makes them important biological control agents for many agricultural pests, such as caterpillars, beetle larvae, and stink bugs. By reducing the populations of these harmful insects, Tachinid flies help to protect crops and reduce the need for chemical pesticides.
Ecological balance: Tachinid flies play an important role in maintaining the natural balance of ecosystems. By controlling pest populations, they help to ensure the health and stability of the plants and animals that rely on these ecosystems for their survival.
Biodiversity: Tachinid flies are an important part of the food chain, serving as a food source for other insects and birds. By promoting biodiversity, they help to ensure the health and stability of ecosystems.
Non-toxic pest control: Unlike chemical pesticides, Tachinid flies are a natural and non-toxic way to control pests. This makes them a safe and sustainable option for farmers, gardeners, and anyone concerned about the impact of pesticides on the environment.
Attract this Beneficial Insect to your Garden
Here are some ways to attract Tachinid flies to your garden:
Provide a source of food: Tachinid flies feed on nectar and other sweet substances, so planting a variety of flowering plants that bloom throughout the growing season can help to attract them to your garden. Flowers with shallow bowls and easy-to-reach nectar, such as asters, daisies, and goldenrod, are especially good options.
Create a habitat: Tachinid flies also need a place to lay their eggs and a safe place to rest, so providing a habitat with plenty of leaves, stems, and other vegetation can help to attract them to your garden. You can also provide a Tachinid fly shelter by installing a row of native plants along one side of your garden or by creating a brush pile in a corner.
Reduce pesticide use: Tachinid flies are sensitive to pesticides, so reducing or eliminating pesticide use in your garden can help to attract them and other beneficial insects.
Maintain a diverse ecosystem: Having a diverse range of plants and animals in your garden can help to create a healthy and attractive environment for Tachinid flies and other beneficial insects. By planting a variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees and by providing a source of water, you can help to promote a healthy and diverse ecosystem in your garden.
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.