Beneficial of the Month – Beneficial Flies (Order: Diptera) – Tachinid Flies (Family: Tachinidae)
The flies in this family are parasitoids, i.e., the females lay their eggs on or in the bodies of other insects, and when the fly larvae hatch, they gradually consume the host until it dies, and the fly larvae pupate. Many tachinids attack larval moths and butterflies, although some species parasitize other insect groups (e.g., cucumber beetles). The adults often resemble large houseflies but have a bristlier abdomen. They sustain themselves on nectar and pollen, and so are often found on flowers during the summer.