Belongs to: flies

Tachinid fly Tachina fera

Best time to see: May to end Sep

Key facts

Tachinid flies are parasitoids, whose young develop inside, and kill, other insects, such as caterpillars

Frequents damp, densely vegetated areas such as beside ponds or in marshland

Common and widespread across Britain and Ireland


This species is large and bristly fly with an orange abdomen with a black stripe down the centre; up to 15mm long

Other tachinids are dull coloured, looking like common house flies

Can be seen feeding or basking on umbellifers or waterside plants, or on the ground searching for hosts for its eggs


Females seek out the nests of other insects – mainly moths and butterflies – and lay their eggs in or near their caterpillars

After hatching the young eat and kill their hosts

  • photo

© Tony Gunton