The flies in the Family Tachinidae could very well take the common name of ‘Bristle Fly’, due to the many stiff hairs that cover the abdomen of many species. My dismal April Fool’s post was indeed a Tachinid Fly, and BugGuide has just come through with more accurate identification. Yesterday I found out that this is the common species Hystricia abrupta (Wiedemann, 1830), which is found across North America.
While I was unable to find specific details for H. abrupta, like other Tachinids, is a parasitoid whose grubs commonly feed on Lepidopteran caterpillars or the adult or larval stages of beetles. A Host-parasite Catalog of North American Tachinidae (Diptera) (by Paul Henri Arnaud, United States. Science and Education Administration, California Academy of Sciences 1978) lists hosts as a Chrysomelid beetle, a Geometrid moth and various Arctiids . An excellent website to visit for more general information is the Tachinidae Resources site, which also has excellent ‘zoomable’ focus-stacked images of this species, that are well worth a look.
(Photographed in Elk Island National Park, Lamont, Alberta, Canada. August 2, 2013)