The Great Tachinid Egg Hunt

Tachinid Eggs

Occasionally records are submitted to NatureSpot which show insects parasitized by Tachinid flies

Although the adults tend to feed on nectar and pollen, most members of this family are parasitoids (they develop inside a living host, ultimately killing it), and a few are parasitic (they do not kill the host). The Tachinid larvae feed on the host tissues, either after having been injected into the host as an egg by the parent, or penetrating the host from outside. Various species have different modes of oviposition and of host invasion. Typically, Tachinid larvae are endoparasites (internal parasites) of caterpillars of butterflies and moths, or the larvae of sawflies, but some species attack adult beetles and some attack beetle larvae. Others attack various types of bugs, and others grasshoppers, a few even attack centipedes. It is difficult to identify the species from the white ovoid eggs - some species are generalists with many different hosts - and it is usually necessary to rear the Tachinid to the adult stage to I.D. it - a rather grisly process as it consumes its host alive. That might be a bit much for most people - but please keep an eye open for Tachinid eggs on other insects and send your records to NatureSpot.