early tachinid fly

(Epalpus signifer)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

early tachinid fly

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Not common in Minnesota

Flight/Season

April through June

Habitat

Meadows, fields, and other open places

Size

Total Length: ¼ to ½ (6 to 13 mm)

Photo by Alfredo Colon
 
Identification

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.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

Caterpillars of pinion moths (Lithophane spp.)

 
Adult Food

Flower nectar

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
Comments

 

 
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.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  early tachinid fly   early tachinid fly
       
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Camera

     
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  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

         
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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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