Archytas metallicus

Tachinid Fly
Archytas metallicus

Tachinid Fly Archytas metallicus female on Tall Boneset. Sep 12, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.
Tachinid Fly Archytas metallicus female on Tall Boneset. Sep 12, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Head yellowish-brown on top, with silvery pile on face. Two rows of  bristles between eyes from top to antenna bases. Area below the antenna white, flattened, not projecting, with one long, curved bristle at each side.
Antenna: Brownish-red. 3rd joint wider and twice as long as 2nd, lighter in color.

Tachinid Fly Archytas metallicus female on Tall Boneset. Sep 12, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.
Tachinid Fly Archytas metallicus female on Tall Boneset. Sep 12, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.

Thorax: Shiny blue-black with yellowish-gray pile on base half, and with 4 black lines (vittae).
Wings: Clear, base dark brownish-yellow, veins dark along outer edge (costa). Calypters brown.
Legs: Black, hairy. Toes yellowish-brown. Front feet (tarsal joints) of the female not widened.
Abdomen: Shiny, blue-black with varying amounts of bright red, but always with a wide, dark stripe down center. Sometimes with only reddish patch each side of center. Lower margin of segment 2 has only 2 bristles. Spines on lower segment are thinner, not as bristled.

Tachinid Fly Archytas metallicus female on Tall Boneset. Sep 12, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.
Tachinid Fly Archytas metallicus female on Tall Boneset. Sep 12, 2017 Leamington, Ontario.

Similar Species: Juriniopsis adusta has an entirely red-brown abdomen, and no dark stripe down middle and about 20 bristles on lower margin of segment 2.
Parachytas decisus has patterned wings with darker lines on last 2 cross-veins before wing tips; but also has only 2 bristles on lower margin of abdomen segment 2 like A. metallicus.

Size: 10 to 14 mm.

Habitat: Deciduous forests and forest edges.

Food: Adults feed on nectar and pollen from a wide variety of flowers.

Flight Time: Late July to August

Life Cycle: Unknown. Other Archytas females lay their eggs on vegetation and the hatched larvae attach themselves to a caterpillar, usually at the base of a leg, and burrow into caterpillar.

Hosts: Tiger Moth Hypercompe scribonia; Dart Moth Spodoptera species; Prominent Moth Datana species.  Probably many other moths.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Widespread in Ontario.

Synonyms:
Jurinia metallica, Jurinia boscii, Echinomyia georgica, Jurinea fuscipennis, Jurinia hystricoides, Archytas hystrix, Archytas pilosa.

References:
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1886, Vol. 13 by Williston, pg. 300.
U.S. Agriculture, 1897, Series 7: Revision of the Tachinidae by Coquillett, pg. 142.
Canadian Entomologist, 1928, Vol. 60 by Curran/Drury, pg. 206: Not Available.
U.S. Agriculture, 1978 #1319: Hosts of Tachinidae by research staff, pg. 9.

Types: Unknown
Syntype as Jurinia (Fabricia) hystricoides male & female by Williston, 1886. Type Locality: U.S. – Conn, Virginia, Georgia, New Mexico, Arizona. In Canadian National Collection, Ottawa, Ontario. Paratype #2030.

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