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Tachina fera
Tachina fera (synonym: Echinomyia fera) belong to the family tachina flies (Tachinidae) in the order Diptera. They are encountered commonly throughout Europe and Asia. Adult Tachina fera reach body lengths of 9-16 mm. Their body is predominantly red to orangish-red in colour. Their limbs are reddish-brown with spiny appendages.

On both sides of the abdomen are yellowish to brown spots and on the upper side of the abdomen is a broad stripe of strong, black bristles. Their ability to see is highly developed.

Tachina fera prefer forest edges, forests, natural gardens, large parks and open countryside. They can usually be found on flowers, looking for nectar. Tachina fera are diurnal flies. They are active from April to October.
Adult Tachina fera feed on the nectar of flowering plants and on honeydew, while their larvae live off the body tissue of different caterpillars. The females lay their eggs near the caterpillars. The larvae immediately hatch from their eggs and penetrate the host caterpillars. The caterpillars die because the larvae feed on their inner tissue. The larvae are parasitic on the caterpillars of the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), the black arches (Lymantria monacha), and the pine beauty (Panolis flammea).


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