Tachinidae

Macquartia dispar, copyright James K. Lindsey.


Belongs within: Oestroidea.
Contains: Dexiinae, Phasiinae, Exoristinae, Tachininae.

The Tachinidae are a group of flies with larvae that are endoparasitic on other arthropods. They can generally be recognised by the presence of an enlarged subscutellum at the back of the thorax. The majority of tachinids parasitise Coleoptera or Lepidoptera but a wide range of hosts are known including Heteroptera, Hymenoptera, earwigs or even centipedes. Female tachinids do not usually have a piercing ovipositor; instead, larvae are more commonly laid on the host or amongst host habitat, and the larva burrows through the host cuticle or hatches from the egg after the host swallows it. In many species, described as ovolarviparous, the female possesses an elongate vagina (the uterus or ovisac) in which eggs are retained until close to hatching. In other, oviparous species, the female deposits unembryonated eggs at an earlier stage of development.

Subfamilies within the Tachinidae have been poorly defined historically with divisions often based on ecology rather than morphology. Nevertheless, molecular phylogenetic analysis has mostly corroborated the previously recognised subfamilies. Two tribes of parasites on Coleoptera, the Macquartiini and Myiophasiini, were suggested by Stireman et al. (2019) to represent the sister group of other Tachinidae.

Characters (from Wood & Zumbado 2010): Small to large flies (body length 3-25 mm), extremely varied in shape and proportions. Frons of male either narrower than that of female and usually lacking proclinate orbital bristles, or about as wide as that of female and usually also with proclinate orbital bristles; first flagellomere of latter type usually much longer in male than in female, in some species bifurcate, trifurcate or multibranched. Arista usually bare, or short to long plumose. Eye usually with ommatrichia; ommatrichia usually longer in male than in female and often longer dorsally than ventrally. Ocelli and ocellar bristles usually present, the latter sometimes directed laterally (lateroclinate) or posteriorly (reclinate). Upper orbital bristles usually present, anterior one(s) reclinate, posteriormost sometimes lateroclinate. Occipital setae usually long and fine, delineated laterally by evenly spaced vertical row of stouter postoccipital bristles, either extending ventrally to meet lower cranial margin or curving forward on genal dilation, that may also have one or more large bristles. Vibrissa usually well developed, usually accompanied by one or more smaller bristles both below and above it. Face concave or convex, often protruding between and/or below vibrissae. Facial ridge, especially in species with long antennae, usually with row of erect bristles. Proboscis usually short and straight, with padlike labella, but may be long and curved, with small labella. Postpronotum with two or usually three major bristles in transverse row, sometimes preceded by fourth smaller bristle or with middle bristle displaced anteriorly. Postsutural supra-alar bristles typically three. Scutellum with one to four paires of bristles, lateral bristles sometimes duplicated. Subscutellum well developed, evenly rounded in profile. Posterior thoracic spiracle small, confined to region behind uppermost meral bristles, and well behind katepisternum, separated from latter by regular katepimeron. Meral bristles present. Vein M with distinct bend.

<==Tachinidae [Larvaevoridae, Macquartiinae]
    |--+--Macquartiini SC19
    |  |    |--Porphyromus SC19
    |  |    `--Macquartia Robineau-Desvoidy 1830 (see below for synonymy) F92
    |  |         |--*M. dispar (Fallén 1820) F92
    |  |         |--M. atrata K01
    |  |         |--M. obscura W87
    |  |         |--M. plumbea SC19
    |  |         |--M. tenebricosa Meigen 1824 (see below for synonymy) F92
    |  |         `--M. tessellum SC19
    |  `--Myiophasiini SC19
    |       |--Cholomyia SC19
    |       |    |--C. inaequipes WZ10
    |       |    `--C. luteipennis WZ10
    |       `--Gnadochaeta SC19
    |            |--G. clistoides WZ10
    |            |--G. metallica SC19
    |            `--G. nigrifrons SC19
    `--+--+--+--Imitomyia [Imitomyiini] SC19
       |  |  |    `--I. sugens W87
       |  |  `--Palpostomatini SC19
       |  |       |--Isidotus incanus WZ10
       |  |       |--Palpostoma CM70
       |  |       `--Eutrixopsis SC19
       |  `--+--Dexiinae SC19
       |     `--Phasiinae SC19
       `--+--Exoristinae SC19
          `--Tachininae SC19

Tachinidae incertae sedis:
  Protohystricia PPE03
  Plagiomyia longicornis M83
  Eucarcelia rutilla A71
  Trichopareia A71
  Chaetophleps setosa [incl. Neocelatoria ferox] A71
  Thrixion A71
  Centeter A71
    |--C. cinerea A71
    `--C. unicolor A71
  Eupeleteria magnicornis A71
  Thereseia A71
  Diplostichus janitrix A71
  Bigonicheta setipennis A71
  Diatraeophaga striatalis B88
  Koralliomyia portentosa B88
  Rossimyiopsis whiteheadi Mesnil 1953 R00
  Perumyia embiaphaga Arnaud 1963 R00
  Prodiaphania ZS10
  Macropodexia C94
  Ceromasia hybreas W87
  Masistylum W87
    |--M. arcuatum CW09
    `--M. stenommatum W87
  Cleonice bigelowi W87
  Blepharomyia tibialis W87
  Alophora CM91
  *Borgmeiermyia brasiliana WZ10
  Athrycia cinerea WZ10
  Cyrtophleba WZ10
    |--C. coquilletti WZ10
    `--C. horrida WZ10
  Metaplagia WZ10
  Pyrrhodexia WZ10
  Thelairodes WZ10
  Crocinosoma cornuale WZ10
  Myiomima sarcophagina WZ10
  Prosenoides flavipes WZ10
  Plagiomima similis WZ10
  Ischyrophaga WZ10
    |--I. ischyri WZ10
    `--I. polita [=Pseudochaetona polita] WZ10
  Minthoplagia setifrons WZ10
  Xanthodexia WZ10
  Chaetodoria WZ10
  Thelairodoriopsis maracasi WZ10
  Italaspidea WZ10
  Polygaster egregia WZ10
  Spathidexia WZ10
    |--S. clemonsi WZ10
    `--S. elegans [=Minthodexiopsis elegans, Gymnopalpus elegans] W87
  Neosolieria sila WZ10, W87
  Lixadmontia WZ10
  Thelyoxynops WZ10
  Lydinolydella rasilis WZ10
  Ophirion tersum WZ10
  Bibiomima handlirschi WZ10
  Euantha litturata WZ10
  Euscopoliopteryx externa WZ10
  Oberonomyia palpalis WZ10
  Tropidopsiomorpha tropica WZ10
  Eudexia dreisbachi WZ10
  Trichodura WZ10
  Neosophia WZ10
  Meleterus WZ10
  Stenodexia WZ10
  Phasiophyto fumifera WZ10
  Homogenia WZ10
  Trochiloleskia loriola WZ10
  Xanthomelanopsis WZ10
  Polistiopsis mima WZ10
  Itaplectops antennalis WZ10
  Icelia triquetra WZ10
  Arrhinactia WZ10
  Istochaeta aldrichi WZ10
  Clastoneura WZ10
  Embiomyia WZ10
  Chrysopasta elegans CM91
  Tarassus W87
  Chaetoplagia atripennis W87
  Androeuryops W87
  Phasiops flavus W87
  Chaetocrania antennalis W87
  Eucnephalia gonoides W87
  Onychogonia magna W87
  Torosomyia parallela W87
  Oraphasmophaga pictipennis W87
  Asseclamyia sphenofrons W87
  Atactopsis reinhardi W87
  Diotrephes atriventris W87
  Chesippus notialis W87
  Eumasicera W87
    |--E. coccidella W87
    `--E. setinervis W87
  Myatelemus trossulus W87
  Gymnophryxe claripennis W87
  Eucoronimyia hastata W87
  Tsugaea nox W87
  Tryphera W87
  Gymnocarcelia languida [incl. Elassomyia defecta, G. ricinorum] W87
  Hesperomyia erythrocera W87
  Paraphasmophaga W87
  Cloacina filialis W87
  Heliodorus W87
  Eufrontina W87
  Eribelia exilis W87
  Nicephorus floridensis W87
  Euceromasia spinosa W87
  Townsendiellomyia nidicola W87
  Estheria cinerea W87
  Hypovoria cauta W87
  Uclesia zonalis W87
  Gueriniopsis setipes W87
  Clastoneuriopsis meralis W87
  Menetus macropogon W87
  Chaetovoria seriata W87
  Cockerelliana capitata W87
  Euptilopareia erucicola W87
  Euscopolia dakotensis W87
  Paradmontia brevis W87
  Eumegaparia flaveola W87
  Arctophyto marginalis W87
  Hypertrophocera W87
    |--H. parvipes W87
    `--‘Euthyprosopa’ petiolata W87
  Goniocera io W87
  Meledonus W87
    |--M. californicus W87
    `--M. latipennis W87
  Mactomyia fracida W87
  Ostracophyto aristalis W87
  Spilochaetosoma californicum W87
  Campylochaeta W87
    |--C. inepta P93
    `--C. semiothisae W87
  Evidomyia infida W87
  Psilopleura arida W87
  Aphria [Aphriini] W87
    `--A. ocypterata W87
  Impeccantia claterna W87
  Hypertrophomma opaca W87
  Anthomyiopsis cypseloides W87
  Megapariopsis opaca W87
  Baeomyia W87
  Ceranthia W87
    |--C. arizonica W87
    |--C. brevirostris W87
    |--C. conata W87
    `--C. plusiae W87
  Miamimyia cincta W87
  Goniocheta plagioides W87
  Chiricahuia cavicola W87
  Pararchytas W87
  Rhachoepalpus olivaceus W87
  Phalacrophyto sarcophagina W87
  Opsotheresia W87
  Nimioglossa W87
  Megaparia venosa W87
  Orestilla primoris W87
  Ochrocera vaginalis W87
  Orthosimyia W87
  Coloradomyia eucosmaphaga W87
  Hineomyia setigera W87
  Ervia triquetra W87
  Pseudapinops W87
  Drepanoglossa tenuirostris [=Philocalia tenuirostris] W87
  Formosia speciosa C91
  Myothyria fergusoni R91
  Masicera P93
    |--M. pavoniae P93
    `--M. sphingivora P93
  Huebneria affinis P93
  Euvespivora decipiens R78
  Anacamptomyia nigriventris R78
  Anagonia CM74
  Bactromyiella ficta CM74
  Hyalomyia CM70
  Latigena longicornis F92
  Anachaetopsis tortricis B37
  Electrotachina smithii RJ93
  Hyperectina cinerea RD77
  Rhacodineura RD77
  Digonochaeta RD77
  Ocyptera brassicaria RD77, G20 [=Musca (Ocyptera) brassicaria G20]
  Sturmia sericariae RD77
  Blepharidea RD77
  Varichaeta RD77
  Paleotachina smithii P92

Macquartia Robineau-Desvoidy 1830 [incl. Albiniola Mesnil 1972, Hesionella Mesnil 1972, Proteremoplax Enderlein 1936] F92

Macquartia tenebricosa Meigen 1824 [incl. M. clausicella Rondani 1865, M. laeta Robineau-Desvoidy 1863, M. villica Robineau-Desvoidy 1836] F92

*Type species of generic name indicated

REFERENCES

[A71] Askew, R. R. 1971. Parasitic Insects. Heinemann Educational Books: London.

[B37] Balduf, W. V. 1937. Bionomic notes on the common bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis Haw., (Lepid., Psychidae) and its insect enemies (Hym., Lepid.). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 39 (7): 169–184.

[B88] Bouček, Z. 1988. Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera): A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

[C94] Colless, D. H. 1994. A new family of muscoid Diptera from Australasia, with sixteen new species in four new genera (Diptera: Axiniidae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 8: 471–534.

[CM70] Colless, D. H., & D. K. McAlpine. 1970. Diptera (flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 656–740. Melbourne University Press.

[CM74] Colless, D. H., & D. K. McAlpine. 1974. Diptera (flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers. Supplement 1974 pp. 91–96. Melbourne University Press.

[CM91] Colless, D. H., & D. K. McAlpine. 1991. Diptera (flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 717–786. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[C91] CSIRO. 1991. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 1. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[CW09] Cumming, J. M., & D. M. Wood. 2009. Adult morphology and terminology. In: Brown, B. V., A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N. E. Woodley & M. A. Zumbado (eds) Manual of Central American Diptera vol. 1 pp. 9–50. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[F92] Fan Z. 1992. Key to the Common Flies of China 2nd ed. Science Press: Beijing.

[G20] Goldfuss, G. A. 1820. Handbuch der Naturgeschichte vol. 3. Handbuch der Zoologie pt 1. Johann Leonhard Schrag: Nürnberg.

[K01] Kertész, K. 1901. Legyek [Dipteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 179–201. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[M83] Martin, N. A. 1983. Miscellaneous observations on a pasture fauna: an annotated species list. DSIR Entomology Division Report 3: 1–98.

[PPE03] Patrick, B., H. Patrick & E. Edwards. 2003. Tiger moths and pheromones. Weta 25: 14–17.

[P93] Pittaway, A. R. 1993. The Hawkmoths of the Western Palaearctic. Harley Books: Colchester.

[P92] Poinar, G. O., Jr. 1992. Life in Amber. Stanford University Press: Stanford.

[R91] Rentz, D. C. F. 1991. Orthoptera (grasshoppers, locusts, katydids, crickets). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 1 pp. 369–393. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[R78] Richards, O. W. 1978. The Australian social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Australian Journal of Zoology, Supplementary Series 61: 1–132.

[RD77] Richards, O. W., & R. G. Davies. 1977. Imms' General Textbook of Entomology 10th ed. vol. 2. Classification and Biology. Chapman and Hall: London.

[RJ93] Ross, A. J., & E. A. Jarzembowski. 1993. Arthropoda (Hexapoda; Insecta). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 363–426. Chapman & Hall: London.

[R00] Ross, E. S. 2000. Embia: Contributions to the biosystematics of the insect order Embiidina. Occasional Papers of the California Academy of Sciences 149: 1–53, 1–36.

[SC19] Stireman, J. O., III, P. Cerretti, J. E. O'Hara, J. D. Blaschke & J. K. Moulton. 2019. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of world Tachinidae (Diptera). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 139: 106358.

[W87] Wood, D. M. 1987. Tachinidae. In: McAlpine, J. F. (ed.) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1193–1269. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

[WZ10] Wood, D. M., & M. A. Zumbado. 2010. Tachinidae (tachinid flies, parasitic flies). In: Brown, B. V., A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N. E. Woodley & M. A. Zumbado (eds) Manual of Central American Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1343–1417. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[ZS10] Zborowski, P., & R. Storey. 2010. A Field Guide to Insects in Australia 3rd ed. Reed New Holland: Sydney.

Last updated: 4 July 2021.

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