early tachinid fly

(Epalpus signifer)

Conservation Status
early tachinid fly
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Early tachinid fly is a robust bristly fly. It occurs throughout the United States and southern Canada. It occurs in eastern Minnesota but is not common. Adults are found from April through June in meadows, fields, and other open places. They feed on flower nectar. Larvae are internal parasites of the caterpillars of pinion moths (Lithophane spp.).

Adults are ¼ to ½ (6 to 13 mm) long.

There are two large compound eyes, one on each side of the head, and three simple eyes (ocelli) in a small triangle on top of the head. The compound eyes on both sexes are dark brown, bare, and broadly separated at the top of the head. The antennae are are short and have three segments. The first segment is orange and short. The second segment is orange and elongated, much longer than wide. The third segment is black and has a large, black, forward-pointing bristle (arista) at the base. The arista is bare, not feather-like (plumose). The face is white or tan.

The thorax is light brown or olive-gray with dark streaks. It is dull, not shiny. It is covered with numerous short, black, bristle-like hairs (setae), and several parallel rows of long black bristles. There is a small black spot on the thorax at the base of each bristle.

The abdomen is black and slightly shiny. There are 2 or 3 pairs of median marginal bristles on abdominal segment 3, a group of discal bristles on segment 4, and a triangular, white or tan mark on the segment 5.

The wings are clear but tinted brown. The fifth radial cell (R5) is narrowed but open at the wingtip.

The legs are dark brown.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: ¼ to ½ (6 to 13 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Meadows, fields, and other open places

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

April through June

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Caterpillars of pinion moths (Lithophane spp.)

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Flower nectar

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  12/30/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Not common in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)  
 

Suborder

Brachycera (circular-seamed flies, mouches muscoïdes, muscoid flies, short-horned flies)  
 

Infraorder

Muscomorpha  
  No Rank Eremoneura  
  No Rank Cyclorrhapha  
  No Rank Schizophora  
  No Rank Calyptratae  
 

Superfamily

Oestroidea  
 

Family

Tachinidae (tachinid flies)  
 

Subfamily

Tachininae  
 

Tribe

Tachinini  
 

Genus

Epalpus  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Tachina plagiata

Tachina signifera

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

early tachinid fly

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Alfredo Colon
       
  early tachinid fly   early tachinid fly
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Epalpus signifer
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Epalpus signifer  
     

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Tachinid Fly (Tachinidae: Epalpus signifer)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

May 20, 2011

This fly parasitizes a pinion moth larve, Lithophane. Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (19 May 2011).

   
       
  Epalpus signifer WHITE BANDED TACHINID preening
Rob Curtis
 
   
 
About

Jul 4, 2020

Epalpus signifer WHITE-BANDED TACHINID preening. Piedra River Road, CO. 4/12/2018 9054800

   
       
  Tachinid Fly (Tachinidae: Epalpus signifer) on Deer Carcass
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

May 7, 2011

Photographed at Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (07 May 2011).

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

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Alfredo Colon
8/8/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

early tachinid fly


     
     
 
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Created: 12/30/2020

Last Updated:

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