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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

21 September, 2009

Parasitic fly (Tachina fera)

In this daily series I aim to take a photo and then find out what I can about the subject and then share what I learn with others. Yesterday I described this insect as a hoverfly, Rhingia campestris, and I am delighted that 'Rambling Rob' pointed out that it is, in fact, Tachina fera. I am pleased because this has introduced me to a totally new species that I would have overlooked without Rob's intervention.

I think we all agree that this is one ugly beast! It is an unpleasant character all round, not just in looks, but because it parasitises butterfly and moth larvae, usually one grub per host.

I took this on bramble near the reed beds along the River Frome at Swineham Point, near Wareham and my book says it is often abundant on waterside plants in late summer.