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hornworm tachinid fly

hornworm tachinid fly (Archytas apicifer)

Features and Behaviors

Also known as the white face fly, this species is about 0.40 to 0.60 inches in length. Its head and thorax are much lighter in color than the dark, shiny abdomen. There are large bristles on the body.

The adults eat flower nectar and act as pollinators. The female lays her eggs on forest tent caterpillars (Malacosoma disstria), fall webworms (Hyphantria cunea), corn earworms (Helicoverpa zea) and cutworms. The egg hatches to a larva that burrows into the living moth larva, eating it and eventually killing it.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Diptera

Family: Tachinidae

Illinois Status: common, native