Parasitic Fly
Parasitic Fly
Parasitic Fly (Tritaxys sp)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Flies (Diptera)
Family: Bristle Fly (Tachinidae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Parasitic Fly (Tritaxys sp)
This Photo:     Moth Case

Thank you Dr Bryan Cantrell for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
We see cases from Faggot Case Moths (Clania ignobilis) quite regularly. We finally found a complete one and thought it'd be gr8 to house it in an insect box by the window (to get appropriate light) to finally get images of the adult.
Click here for more details of the host
While disapointed that it was parasitised by this fly, we were excited to discover another species.
Rather than injecting eggs into the case, the mother lays eggs on the food plant / leaf that the caterpillar eats. The eggs don't get digested but stay inside the larva until it grows and when about to pupate, use the energy for itself and consumes the moth.
Still baffled at how it managed to get out of the case (it's incredibly strong); one can only assume it saw light at the end of the tunnel and chewed it's way out.

Tony Daley said "Tritaxys have multiple (~3) rows of parafrontal bristles, the frons in general seemingly very wide in accommodating these rows, which is shown well in your face pic."

Copyright © 2016-2024 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 15-Mar-2016
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.