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.

Juriniopsis adusta

Tachinid Fly
Juriniopsis adusta

 

achinid Fly Juriniopsis adusta female, white face, red palpi on Mint. August 06, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.
Tachinid Fly Juriniopsis adusta female, white face, red palpi on Mint. August 06, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Face slightly shiny, whitish-gray on female, duller with more whitish pile on male. Female eyes wide apart, male’s closer but not touching. Whiskers (palpi) long, bright reddish-orange. Thick layer of yellowish-brown hair around entire back of head.
Antenna: Brownish-yellow, last segment lighter. 2nd joint very narrow. Joint 3 oblong, as long as 1 and 2 combined.

Tachinid Fly Juriniopsis adusta female, no crossed bristles on scutellum lower margin. Mint, August 06, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.
Tachinid Fly Juriniopsis adusta female, no crossed bristles on scutellum lower margin. Mint, August 06, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.

Thorax: Black. Segment 1 (scutum) base half covered with yellowish pile. Segment 2 (scutellum) has no bristles at tip of lower margin, but some erect bristles at each side.
Wings: Wings slightly tinted, base very dark and one small cross-wise spot at mid wing (cross vein r-m) dark. Calypteres usually dark brown.
Legs: Black with yellow toes and with the usual black bristles and hair. Female has wider front feet.
Abdomen: Shiny, deep bright reddish-brown (castaneous), with long bristles on lower half of abdomen sides. Many black bristles across lower edge of segment 2 and longer, thicker bristles across lower margin of segment 3.  Bristles shorter, covering last segment and tip.

Tachinid Fly Juriniopsis adusta female, rows of black bristles on abdomen segments lower margin. Mint, August 06, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.
Tachinid Fly Juriniopsis adusta female, rows of black bristles on abdomen segments lower margin. Mint, August 06, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.

Similar Species: There are two others similar in Ontario with a red abdomen.

Archytas metallicus has long crossed (decussate) bristles at centre tip of thorax segment 2 (scutellum). These bristles point straight down to abdomen; J. adusta has none pointing downward. Abdominal segment 2 has only 2 bristles; many bristles on J. adusta.

Pararchytas decisus face is more hairy and yellowish, same color as hair layer around back of head; long crossed bristles at centre tip of thorax segment 2 (scutellum); wings darker with last two cross-vein lines before tip darkened (dm-cu and r4+5M).

Size: 12 to 15 mm long.

Habitat: Forest edges.

Food: Adults feed on flower pollen and nectar.

Flight Time: July to August

Life Cycle: Larva are parasites of the Silver-spotted Skipper Epargyreus clarus and Tiger Moths Halysidota harrisii and H. tessellaris. Possibly Giant Leopard Moth Hypercompe scribonia. Larvae attack Hypercompe species in Florida.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee (1), Leamington (1), LaSalle (1 on BugGuide). Very rare, northern range extension.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page