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Galactomyia

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Galactomyia (commonly known as the feather-legged fly or hairy-legged fly) is a subgenus of tachinid flies.[1][2] They are found in North and South America.

Species

References

  1. ^ BugGuide
  2. ^ Arnaud Jr, Paul H. (1978). A Host-Parasite Catalog of North American Tachinidae (Diptera). Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture. pp. 1–860.

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Galactomyia: Brief Summary

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Galactomyia (commonly known as the feather-legged fly or hairy-legged fly) is a subgenus of tachinid flies. They are found in North and South America.

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Phaenopsis

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Phaenopsis is a subgenus of flies in the family Tachinidae.[2][1]

Species

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

References

  1. ^ a b c O'Hara, James E.; Wood, D. Monty (28 January 2004). "Checklist Of The Tachinidae (Diptera) Of America North Of Mexico" (PDF). Nicaragua: Biodiversidad de Nicaragua. pp. 1–42.
  2. ^ James E. O'Hara (December 31, 2008). "World Genera of the Tachinidae (Diptera) and their Regional Occurrence" (PDF). Version 4.0. University of Guelph. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
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Phaenopsis: Brief Summary

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Phaenopsis is a subgenus of flies in the family Tachinidae.

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Tachinidae

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The Tachinidae are a large and variable family of true flies within the insect order Diptera, with more than 8,200 known species and many more to be discovered. Over 1300 species have been described in North America alone. Insects in this family commonly are called tachinid flies or simply tachinids. As far as is known, they all are protelean parasitoids, or occasionally parasites, of arthropods, usually other insects. The family is known from many habitats in all zoogeographical regions and is especially diverse in South America.[2]

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"Tachinidae" by Harold Maxwell-Lefroy, 1909

Life cycle

Reproductive strategies vary greatly between Tachinid species, largely, but not always clearly, according to their respective life cycles. This means that they tend to be generalists rather than specialists. Comparatively few are restricted to a single host species, so there is little tendency towards the close co-evolution one finds in the adaptations of many specialist species to their hosts, such as are typical of protelean parasitoids among the Hymenoptera.

Larvae (maggots) of most members of this family are parasitoids (developing inside a living host, ultimately killing it). In contrast a few are parasitic (not generally killing the host). Tachinid larvae feed on the host tissues, either after having been injected into the host 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 eruciform larvae of sawflies. For example, they have been found to lay eggs in African sugarcane borer larva, a species of moth common in sub-Saharan Africa,[3] as well as the more northerly Arctic woolly bear moth.[4] However, some species attack adult beetles and some attack beetle larvae. Others attack various types of true bugs, and others attack grasshoppers; a few even attack centipedes. Also parasitised are bees, wasps and sawflies.[5]

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Tachinid eggs (possibly Trichopoda pennipes) on Leptoglossus occidentalis

Oviposition and ovoviviparity

Probably the majority of female Tachinids lay white, ovoid eggs with flat undersides onto the skin of the host insect. Imms[6] mentions the genera Gymnosoma, Thrixion, Winthemia, and Eutachina as examples. In a closely related strategy some genera are effectively ovoviviparous (some authorities prefer the term ovolarviparous[7]) and deposit a hatching larva onto the host. For example, this occurs in Tachinidae species which parasitize the butterfly Danaus chrysippus in Ghana.[8] The free larvae immediately bore into the host's body. Illustrative genera include: Exorista, Voria, and Plagia. Many Tachinid eggs hatch quickly, having partly developed inside the mother's uterus, which is long and often coiled for retaining developing eggs. However, it is suggested that the primitive state probably is to stick unembryonated eggs to the surface of the host.[7]

Many other species inject eggs into the host's body, using the extensible, penetrating part of their ovipositor, sometimes called the oviscapt, which roughly translates to "egg digger". Species in the genera Ocyptera, Alophora, and Compsilura are examples.

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Istocheta aldrichi egg on Popillia japonica (Japanese beetle)
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Most tachinids are dull colored, resembling house flies
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Ormia ochracea, a tachinid fly notable for its acute directional hearing

Usually only one egg is laid on or in any individual host, and accordingly such an egg tends to be large, as is typical for eggs laid in small numbers. They are large enough to be clearly visible if stuck onto the outside of the host, and they generally are so firmly stuck that eggs cannot be removed from the skin of the host without killing them. Furthermore, scientists have observed in studies with the host cabbage looper that being glued to the host insect helps maggots burrow into the larva, where they remain until fully developed.[9]

Yet another strategy of oviposition among some Tachinidae is to lay large numbers of small, darkly coloured eggs on the food plants of the host species. Sturmia, Zenillia, and Gonia are such genera.

Many Tachinids are important natural enemies of major insect pests, and some species actually are used in biological pest control; for example, some species of Tachinid flies have been introduced into North America from their native lands as biocontrols to suppress populations of alien pests.[10] Conversely, certain tachinid flies that prey on useful insects are themselves considered as pests; they can present troublesome problems in the sericulture industry by attacking silkworm larvae. One particularly notorious silkworm pest is the Uzi fly (Exorista bombycis).

Another reproductive strategy is to leave the eggs in the host's environment, for example the female might lay on leaves, where the host is likely to ingest them. Some tachinids that are parasitoids of stem-boring caterpillars deposit eggs outside the host's burrow, letting the first instar larvae do the work of finding the host for themselves. In other species, the maggots use an ambush technique, waiting for the host to pass and then attacking it and burrowing into its body.

Adult Tachinids are not parasitic, but either do not feed at all or visit flowers, decaying matter, or similar sources of energy to sustain themselves until they have concluded their procreative activities. Their non-parasitic behaviour after eclosion from the pupa is what justifies the application of the term "protelean".

Description

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Tachinid Flies Mating

Tachinid flies are extremely varied in appearance. Some adult flies may be brilliantly colored and then resemble blow-flies (family Calliphoridae). Most however are rather drab, some resembling house flies. However, Tachinid flies commonly are more bristly and more robust. Also, they usually have a characteristic appearance. They have three-segmented antennae, a diagnostically prominent postscutellum bulging beneath the scutellum (a segment of the mesonotum). They are aristate flies, and the arista usually is bare, though sometimes plumose. 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 scale insects. As many species typically feed on pollen, they can be important pollinators of some plants, especially at higher elevations in mountains where bees are relatively few.

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 on the immature stage.

As biological pest control

Tachinid flies also parasitizes the Asian Corn Borer, a moth pest of maize commonly found in East Asia. This has allowed them to be used as biological control agents by farmers. Due to the lack of specificity in choosing hosts Tachinidae are considered generalist biological control agents.[11]

Evolution

This clade appears to have originated in the middle Eocene.[12] The oldest known fossil (Lithexorista) is known from the Eocene aged Green River Formation in Wyoming.[13][14]

See also

References

  1. ^ Systema Dipterorum: Tachinidae
  2. ^ James E. O'Hara; Shannon J. Henderson (December 18, 2018). "World Genera of the Tachinidae (Diptera) and Their Regional Occurrence" (PDF).
  3. ^ Hastings, H.; Conling, D.E.; Graham, D.Y. (1988). "Notes on the natural host surveys and laboratory rearing of Goniozus natalensis Gordh (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae), a parasitoid of Eldana saccharina Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) larvae from Cyperus papyrus L. in Southern Africa" (PDF). Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa. 51: 1.
  4. ^ Morewood, W. Dean; Wood, D. Monty (2002). "Host utilization byExorista thula Wood (sp. nov.) and Chetogena gelida (Coquillett) (Diptera: Tachinidae), parasitoids of arctic Gynaephora species (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae)". Polar Biology. 25 (8): 575–582. doi:10.1007/s00300-002-0382-y.
  5. ^ "Parasitic Flies - Ontario AppleIPM". www.omafra.gov.on.ca.
  6. ^ Imms' General Textbook of Entomology: Volume 1: Structure, Physiology and Development Volume 2: Classification and Biology. Berlin: Springer. 1977. ISBN 978-0-412-61390-6.
  7. ^ a b Wood, D. M. 1987. Chapter 110. Tachinidae. Pp. 1193-1269 in McAlpine, J.F., Peterson, B.V., Shewell, G.E., Teskey, H.J., Vockeroth, J.R. and D.M. Wood (eds.), Manual of Nearctic Diptera. Volume 2. Agriculture Canada Monograph 28: i-vi, 675-1332.
  8. ^ Edmunds, Malcolm (1976-03-01). "Larval mortality and population regulation in the butterfly Danaus chrysippus in Ghana". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 58 (2): 129–145. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.1976.tb00823.x. ISSN 0024-4082.
  9. ^ Brubaker, R. W. (1968-02-01). "Seasonal Occurrence of Voria ruralis a Parasite of the Cabbage Looper, in Arizona, and Its Behavior and Development in Laboratory Culture1". Journal of Economic Entomology. 61 (1): 306–309. doi:10.1093/jee/61.1.306. ISSN 0022-0493.
  10. ^ entomology.Wisconsin.edu. Compsilura concinnata, Parasitoid of Gypsy Moth
  11. ^ Grenier, S. (1988-04-01). "Applied biological control with Tachinid flies (Diptera, Tachinidae): A review". Anzeiger für Schädlingskunde, Pflanzenschutz, Umweltschutz. 61 (3): 49–56. doi:10.1007/BF01906254. ISSN 0340-7330.
  12. ^ Zhao, Zhe; Su, Tian-Juan; Chesters, Douglas; Wang, Shi-di; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Zhu, Chao-Dong; Chen, Xiao-lin; Zhang, Chun-Tian (2013). "The Mitochondrial Genome of Elodia flavipalpis Aldrich (Diptera: Tachinidae) and the Evolutionary Timescale of Tachinid Flies". PLOS ONE. 8 (4): e61814. Bibcode:2013PLoSO...861814Z. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061814. PMC 3634017. PMID 23626734.
  13. ^ C. H. T. Townsend. 1921. Some new muscoid genera ancient and recent. Insectur Inscitiae Menstruus 9:132-134
  14. ^ N. L. Evenhuis. 1994. Catalogue of the Fossil Flies of the World (Insecta: Diptera) 1-600

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Tachinidae: Brief Summary

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The Tachinidae are a large and variable family of true flies within the insect order Diptera, with more than 8,200 known species and many more to be discovered. Over 1300 species have been described in North America alone. Insects in this family commonly are called tachinid flies or simply tachinids. As far as is known, they all are protelean parasitoids, or occasionally parasites, of arthropods, usually other insects. The family is known from many habitats in all zoogeographical regions and is especially diverse in South America.

" "Tachinidae" by Harold Maxwell-Lefroy, 1909
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Description

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This generic description is based on a redescription of the single included species, Neoethilla ignobilis. Length: 5.5–7.5 mm. Colour: Head mainly black, covered with grey microtomentum. Palpus black to brown (usually paler in female). Thorax and legs entirely black. Abdomen mainly black but reddish yellow laterally (Fig. 1a–b). Tegula and basicosta black. Head (Figs 1a–e, 2a): Large in dorsal view, about as wide as thorax; higher than long in lateral view. Compound eye densely covered with long ommatrichia (Fig. 1c–f). Frons at its narrowest point 2/3–6/7 (♂♀) as wide as eye in dorsal view (no significant sexual dimorphism in examined specimens). Frontal vitta (= interfrontal area) clearly widening anteriorly. Outer (= lateral) vertical seta not differentiated from postocular setae in male, well developed in female. Ocellar seta absent (Figs 1c–d, 2a) or very small; ocellar triangle with several short, proclinate setulae (Fig. 2a). Fronto-orbital plate of male with about three irregular rows of fine, medioclinate setae lateral to frontal setae. Seven to 10 frontal setae. Two or 3 upper (= dorsal) reclinate orbital setae, often not clearly differentiated from frontal setae. Proclinate orbital setae absent in male, 2 in female (Fig. 1a–b). Parafacial covered with proclinate, short, fine setae (Fig. 1a–b, 1e–f). Facial ridge straight in profile, with only a few setae above vibrissa on about 1/5–1/4 of its length. Vibrissa arising at about level of lower facial margin. Face concave; lower facial margin not visible in profile. Antenna slightly shorter than facial ridge. Postpedicel 3.0–3.5 times as long as pedicel. Arista bare, thickened on basal 2/5–1/2. First aristomere not longer than wide (usually shorter); second aristomere 1–2 times as long as wide. Genal dilation well developed. Gena in profile very narrow, about 0.10–0.15 times as high as compound eye (height measured in the same vertical plane as height of head). Postocular setae fine, relatively long and slightly bent anteriorly. Occiput flat, with 1–2 rows of black setulae behind postocular row. Prementum not more than 2 times as long as wide; palpus well developed, apically covered with setulae, often strongly clavate in female. Thorax (Figs 1a–d, 2b–d): Postpronotum with 4 setae; 3 strongest, basal, arranged in a line (Fig. 2b). Scutum with 2–3 posthumeral setae, 1 + 3 supra-alar (first postsutural supra-alar seta at most as long as a notopleural seta), 0–1 + 3 intra-alar, 3 + 4 dorsocentral, 3 + 3 acrostichal setae. General hair-like setulae of scutum fine, relatively long and erect. Prosternum laterally setose. Proepisternal depression bare. Two katepisternal setae (the posterior one larger). Katepimeron setulose along its length. Anepimeral seta at most half as long as posterior katepisternal seta. Scutellum wider than long, covered with long, fine, erect setulae. Three pairs of marginal scutellar setae (basal, subapical, apical) (Figs 1c–d, 2c); basal and subapical setae about equal in size; apical pair shorter, crossed and sub-horizontal. Scutellum without discal setae. Anterior and posterior lappets of metathoracic spiracle unequal in size. Legs: Preapical anterodorsal seta of fore tibia about as long and stout as preapical dorsal seta. Mid tibia with 1 anterodorsal seta. Hind tibia with a row of moderately spaced, comb-like anterodorsal setae (Fig. 2e); 2 dorsal preapical setae. Preapical posteroventral seta of hind tibia not differentiated. Claws about as long as fifth tarsal segment in male (Fig. 2f), considerably shorter in female. Wing (Figs 1a–d, 2d): Bend of vein M usually obtuse. Cell r4+5 open. Section of M between crossveins r-m and dm-cu longer than section between dm-cu and bend of M. Section of M between dm-cu and bend of M shorter than post-angular section of M. Vein R4+5 with a single setula at base dorsally and 0–1 ventrally. Lower calypter large and strongly convex, especially along its lateral and posterior margins (Fig. 2d). Abdomen (Fig. 1a–d): Syntergite 1+2 with mid-dorsal depression extending to hind margin. Tergites 1+2 and 3 with a pair of fine median marginal setae, sometimes not differentiated from the general abdominal setae, and a pair of lateral setae; tergite 4 with a row of marginal setae; tergite 5 with scattered weak setae. Tergites 3 and 4 without median or lateral discal setae. Male terminalia (Figs 3a–b, 4a–d, 5a–c): Sternite 5 with deep median cleft, outer lobe almost truncate along posterior margin (Fig. 3a–b). Tergite 6 large, plate-like (not divided into two sclerites nor indentate on posterior edge), bare; tergite 6 separated from tergite 5 and segment 7+8 by membrane. Cerci (Figs. 4a–b, 5a–b) almost flat, wide in posterior view (sub-ovoid), not fused medially (i.e., longitudinal medial suture complete), distally very slightly divided (Figs 4b, 4d, 5b). Surstylus long, wide and sub-triangular in lateral view, distal tip sometimes slightly bent posteriorly (Figs 4c, 5a). Posterior half of lateral surface of surstylus with several stout setae. Pregonite and postgonite not fused. Pregonite strongly recurved and pointed. Processi longi long, slender and well separated from each other. Epiphallus stout, well sclerotized, attached to basal portion of basiphallus (Fig. 5c). Connection between basiphallus and distiphallus strongly sclerotized (Fig. 5c). Lateroventral sclerites of distiphallus well developed, strongly sclerotized with robust spines lateroventrally (Figs 4a–b, 5c). Female terminalia. Ovipositor short, not telescopic as in Winthemiini. Egg. Plano-convex macrotype unembryonated; long-oval in dorsal view; anterodorsally operculate (Fig. 5d–e). Dorsal, convex surface of egg characterized by a strong polygonal micro-sculpturing.
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Pierfilippo Cerretti, D. Monty Wood, James E. O’Hara
bibliographic citation
Cerretti P, Wood D, O’Hara J (2012) Neoethilla, a new genus for the first record of the Ethillini from the New World (Diptera, Tachinidae, Exoristinae) ZooKeys 242: 25–41
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Pierfilippo Cerretti
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