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FLIES: Tachinid Fly: Winthemia manducae
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This is a special page on Winthemia manducae tachinid flies. Tachinids are a family of flies that use other insects to complete their life cycles. This means that large caterpillars can be the host for one to two dozen fly larvae. In this case, a Manduca sexta moth larva (tobacco hornworm/carolina sphinx) becomes an unwilling host to Winthemia manducae1 flies. To quote the source: "(This fly) is often seen near last stage hornworm larvae. Eggs of this species hatch, and the maggots bore into the hornworm. The hornworm is killed while in the soil during the pupal stage, before it can transform into an adult and initiate a new generation."1

Here is the story in pictures that took 209 days to play out.

COMMON NAME: Tobacco hornworm, late 5th instar
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:Sphinginae
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:10/27/2002
Location:Swan/Sunrise, Tucson, AZ
hornworm
Day 1. Tobacco Hornworm, wandering stage just prior to pupation. No sign of
being parasitized by one or more tachinid flies.

COMMON NAME: Tobacco hornworm, after pupation
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Sub-family:Sphinginae
Genus:Manduca
Species:Manduca sexta
Date:11/02/2002
Location:Swan/Sunrise, Tucson, AZ
hornworm
Day 7: Tobacco Hornworm pupa, apparently in diapause (suspended development) to wait-out
the coming winter. Everything is proceeding normally with no indication of parasitization.

COMMON NAME: Tachinid Fly larvae
Class:Insecta
Order:Diptera
Family:Tachinidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Winthemia
Species:.
Date:05/06/2003
Location:Swan/Sunrise, Tucson, AZ
nineteen maggots
Day 191: Tobacco Hornworm pupa transforms into 19 fat little maggots. I was
expecting this darn moth to hatch any day now for the past few months, then one day when
checking in on it, I noticed that it looked a bit strange. On closer look I saw that it was starting
to crack open, and then it became clear what had been happening.

COMMON NAME: Tachinid Fly, female
Class:Insecta
Order:Diptera
Family:Tachinidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Winthemia
Species:Winthemia manducae1
Date:05/24/2003
Location:Swan/Sunrise, Tucson, AZ
tachinid fly
Day 209, Hatching Day #2: Newly emerged fly from the second batch
(10 in first, 9 in second) with wings still folded up.

COMMON NAME: Tachinid Fly, female
Class:Insecta
Order:Diptera
Family:Tachinidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Winthemia
Species:Winthemia manducae1
Date:05/24/2003
Location:Swan/Sunrise, Tucson, AZ
tachinid fly
Day 209. Newly emerged flies ready to fly for the first time.

COMMON NAME: Tachinid Fly, female
Class:Insecta
Order:Diptera
Family:Tachinidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Winthemia
Species:.
Date:10/20/2002
Location:Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, Santa Cruz Co., AZ
tachinid fly
Tachinid fly, female, following a White-lined Sphinx
(Hyles lineata) color variant hornworm.

COMMON NAME: Tachinid Fly
Class:Insecta
Order:Diptera
Family:Tachinidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Winthemia
Species:.
Date:10/20/2002
Location:Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, Santa Cruz Co., AZ
tachinid fly and white-lined sphinx
Tachinid fly, female, following a White-lined Sphinx
(Hyles lineata) color variant hornworm.

COMMON NAME: Tachinid Fly
Class:Insecta
Order:Diptera
Family:Tachinidae
Sub-family:.
Genus:Winthemia
Species:.
Date:10/20/2002
Location:Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, Santa Cruz Co., AZ
tachinid fly and hornworm
Female tachinid fly pressing ovipositor onto side of a White-lined
Sphinx caterpillar to lay an egg.

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