Tachina grossa – a big black fly!

Tachina grossa, Galicia, Spain.
Tachina grossa, Galicia, Spain

The Yellow-faced fly or giant tachinid fly, Tachina grossa, is the largest European tachinid fly, between 1.5 and 2 cm in length. It is widespread in Europe, including the British Isles and is supposed to be a bumblebee mimic, but I am not sure which one it is copying. Probably an imperfect mimic of generally dark bumblebees. This species lays its eggs on the larvae of moths like the oak eggar (Lasiocampa quercus), on which they bore into and devour, eventually emerging as adults from the host pupa. (1) I think the yellow-buff coloured head and black body makes for a very attractive insect.

Tachina grossa, Galicia, Spain
Tachina grossa, Galicia, Spain

I came across it on elevated habitat, of heather and gorse, in hills behind Ortigueira, Galicia, Spain, on 3rd September this year.

Heather and gorse habitat in Galicia, Spain, where T. grossa was seen.
Heather and gorse habitat in Galicia, Spain, where T. grossa was seen.

 

  1. http://tachinidae.org.uk/blog/?page_id=343&q=Tachina+grossa&t=name

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