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UK Nature  > Flies  > Tachina fera

Scientific Name:   Tachina fera
Common Name:   Tachinid Fly

Tachina fera, a Tachinid Fly, is a very common, large (9-16mm) and bristly fly with a prominent broad black stripe down the centre of an otherwise orange abdomen and with a wingspan of 16–27 mm.

They are bristly on the thorax and abdomen, especially towards the tip, where they have long thorn-shaped, protruding black bristles. Close to the thorax there is a striking, orange-red and shiny 'bump' called postscutellum, with a thin black edge.

The head is yellowish colored, with long antennae, whose second segment is yellow, while the third, much shorter, is black. The back of the head shows yellowish hairs and the large compound eyes are red in color. The size of the eyes in relation to the head is gender dependent. The palps of the mouthparts are long, thin and thread like. The wings are slightly yellow tinged, show a brownish yellow veining and are yellow brown at the base. Calyptrae are whitish yellow. The legs are predominantly yellowish, but in the male they are usually dark with a yellow tip.

It can often be seen in moist and well vegetated locations where it feeds on umbellifers and waterside plants during May to September. The larvae are parasites of caterpillars and other young insects. Common and widespread in England and Wales.
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