Correction: Tachinid flies


In a recent post (Butterflies Galore), I showed a picture that I said showed native bees with a skipper butterfly. But I was curious about the bees — I’d never seen anything like them before. I couldn’t find anything on the internet, so I emailed the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. According to the folks there, they aren’t bees, they are a type of tachinid fly! (Adejeania vexatrix)Native bees on Asclepias-13

Turns out that adult Tachinid flies feed on flower nectar, which means that they are pollinators, especially at higher elevations, where bees don’t live. (Alpine flowers on Mt. Evans) On the other hand, their larvae feed on other insects, including some that are harmful to crops. They are found from the tropics to the arctic, and can look like houseflies or be more unusual, like these.

 

About coloradogeography

Amy Law is a science geek. She feels about science the way some people feel about music, or art, or sports – a total and complete emotional connection. She thinks in science. For Amy, there’s nothing better than helping people see the beauty of science as she does. She loves to untangle a complicated subject into its parts, explaining it so that anybody can understand what’s happening. Let her show you her world...
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2 Responses to Correction: Tachinid flies

  1. How cool you were able to track those garden pollinators down! Thanks for sharing.

  2. You know, the folks at the CU Museum of Natural History, like most experts, were very generous with their time and expertise. All I had to do was ask!

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