The Tachinidae have a home page at the North American Dipterists Society (NADS) that has a lot of helpful information including a gallery, general information, tachinid morphology and even their very own newsletter! The tachinid page is run by Dr. James E. O’Hara (Invertebrate Biodiversity, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) and we hope he can drop by and identify this distinctive fly to the species!
And a brief quote to show the general coolness of the tachinids and their parasitoid larva:
Some tachinids are solitary endoparasitoids and will fight one another within a host until a single larva remains alive. Other species, especially those that parasitize larger hosts, are not aggressive towards one another and numerous individuals can successfully develop into adults. If conditions are crowded, then some maggots may die and the rest may produce stunted adults. Multiparasitism, the development of more than one larva within a host, can also result in more than one tachinid species successfully parasitizing a single host.
Gladiators in a caterpillar….
[3:23:16 PM, 24 August, 2010. Edmonton, Alberta. Nikon D80 with Tamron 90mm DI lens on KenkoPro 1.4x teleconverter. ISO 800, 1/200 sec. @ f51 (effective aperture) Nikon R1 flash system. Processed in Lightroom 3.3 (cropping, levels, spot removal, sharpening, noise-reduction)]