name = Tachinidae

image_width = 250px
image_caption = Long tongue tachinid
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Arthropoda
classis = Insecta
subclassis = Pterygota
infraclassis = Neoptera
superordo = Endopterygota
ordo = Diptera
subordo = Brachycera
infraordo = Muscomorpha
zoosubsectio = Calyptratae
superfamilia = Oestroidea
familia = Tachinidae
diversity_link = Tachinidae
diversity = 1523 genera, ca. 10,000 species
subdivision_ranks = Subfamilies
subdivision =

Tachinidae is a large and rather variable family of true flies within the insect order Diptera, with more than 8,200 known species and many more to be discovered. There are over 1300 species in North America.Insects in this family are commonly called tachina flies, or simply "tachinids".

They occur in almost all habitats all over the world. There are Neotropical, Nearctic, Afrotropical [ [http://www.africaninvertebrates.org.za/Barraclough1996_1_234.aspx Barraclough, D.A. 1996. "Montanothalma natalensis", a new high altitude genus and species of Microphthalmini (Diptera: Tachinidae: Tachininae) from the Natal Drakensberg of South Africa. "Annals of the Natal Museum" 37: 123-129.] ] , Palaearctic, Oriental, Australasian and Oceanic species.

A typical characteristic of this family is the fact that most of them are parasitoids (the larvae develop inside a living host, ultimately killing it), and a few are parasitic (do not kill the host). Larvae are endoparasites (internal parasites) of caterpillars of butterflies and moths, adult and larval beetles, sawfly larvae, various types of true bugs and grasshoppers, rarely in centipedes, with usually only one grub. Only a few species are host species-specific. As such, many are important natural enemies of major pests. Some species are being used in biological pest control. Many important pests are suppressed by tachinids. Many species of tachinid flies have been introduced into North America from their native lands as biocontrols to suppress populations of alien pests.

Tachinid flies are however regarded as pests by silkworm rearers. One particularly noted species is the Uzi fly ("Exorista bombycis").

Reproductive strategies are highly variable between species. The female may lay her white oval eggs on the skin of the host insect, or insert the egg into the host's body, or leave them in the host's environment, as for example on leaves, where the host will ingest them. Some tachinids that are parasitoids of stem-boring caterpillars deposit eggs outside the host's burrow, letting the larvae do the work of finding the host itself. In other species, the maggots use an ambush technique, waiting for the host to pass and then attacking it and burrowing into its body. The larvae feed on the host tissues, causing death, except in some rare parasitic species.

Tachinid flies are extremely varied in appearance. Adult flies may be brilliantly colored and then resemble blow-flies (family Calliphoridae), or rather drab, and then resemble house flies. But tachinid flies are more bristly and more robust. They have three-segmented antennae, a diagnostically prominent postscutellum bulging beneath the scutellum (a segment of the mesonotum), bare (sometimes plumose) arista. The calypters (small flaps above the halteres) are usually very large. Their fourth long vein bends away sharply.

Adult flies feed on flowers and nectar from aphids and scales. As many species typically feed on pollen, they can be important pollinators of some plants, especially at higher elevations in mountains where bees decrease in numbers.

The taxonomy of this family presents many difficulties. It is largely based on morphological characters of the adult flies, but also on reproductive habits and the immature stage.



External links

* [http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/aocat/tachinidae.html Australasian/Oceanian Diptera Catalog]
* [http://www.nadsdiptera.org/Tach/Genera/Gentach.pdf List of tachinid genera]
* [http://cirrusimage.com/Flies_Tachinid.htm Tachinidae] Diagnostic Photographs, 8 Species
* [http://tachinidae.org.uk/ UK Tachinid Recording Scheme]
* [http://delta-intkey.com/britin/dip/www/tachinid.htm British Insects] Family description and images
* [http://eny3005.ifas.ufl.edu/lab1/Diptera/Tachinid.htm Tachinidae] Family description
* [http://www.diptera.info/photogallery.php?album_id=51 Tachinidae] Image gallery at Diptera.info
* [http://tachinidae.org.uk/site/rhino.php Separation of Tachinidae from the related family Rhinophoridae]
* [http://bugguide.net/node/view/197 Bugguide.net] North American Tachinidae
* [http://www.hr-rna.com/RNA/Other%20insect%20pages/Tachinid%20key%20pg1.htm Key to genera-eastern U.S.A.]
* [http://www.nadsdiptera.org/Tach/Morpho/tachmor.htm Tachinidae Morphology] J. O'Hara, North American Dipterists Society
* [http://www.nadsdiptera.org/Tach/Genera/Gentach.pdf World Genera of Tachinidae] J. O'Hara, North American Dipterists Society
* [http://books.google.com/books?q=siphonini&btnG=Search+Books The Siphonini] Book preview

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tachinidae —   [griechisch], die Raupenfliegen …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Tachinidae —   Tachinidae Archytas sp …   Wikipedia Español

  • Tachinidae — Tachinides Gymnosoma …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tachinidae — Raupenfliegen Raupenfliege Systematik Überklasse: Sechsfüßer (Hexapoda) Klasse …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tachinidae — noun parasites on other insects • Syn: ↑family Tachinidae • Hypernyms: ↑arthropod family • Member Holonyms: ↑Diptera, ↑order Diptera • Member Meronyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • tachinidae — ta·chin·i·dae …   English syllables

  • List of Tachinidae genera — This is a list of the genera currently recognised in the fly family Tachinidae.[1] Contents: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q …   Wikipedia

  • family Tachinidae — noun parasites on other insects • Syn: ↑Tachinidae • Hypernyms: ↑arthropod family • Member Holonyms: ↑Diptera, ↑order Diptera • Member Meronyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tachinaire — Tachinidae Tachinides …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tachinides — Tachinidae Tachinides …   Wikipédia en Français

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