Parasitic Fly (Tachina grossa)
In general I am pretty positive about nature; I try to find some beauty or wonder in everything but what can I find to like about this? It is ugly, dirty and evil! It is a parasitic fly called Tachina grossa and it is certainly gross. It is quite common on heathland in August and September and in flight it looks like a bumble-bee but when it settles it becomes quite obvious very quickly that it is not a cute little furry insect but a rather disgusting fly.
It parasitises large caterpillars by laying its eggs inside them. The larvae then eat the insides of the caterpillar before pupating and overwintering as a pupae. Given its liking for large caterpillars and heathland I expect the large, woolly caterpillar of the fox moth is a favoured target as they, too, are quite common in late summer.
However unpleasant it still has a role to play in the wider scheme of things and so I guess its 'live and let live'!
Find out more about Tachina grossa in Dorset here: www.natureofdorset.co.uk/species_panel/Parasitic%20fly%20...[T%20grossa]/nid&view_path=species_panel/Parasitic%20fly%20[T%20gr ossa]&view_base_path=species_master_basic&view_dom_id=2&pa ger_element=0&view_display_id=page_1