I spend this morning helping the Strettons Area Community Wildlife Group with their event at Rectory Wood and Field in Church Stretton. One the highlights for one young family were two species of Tachinid flies, Tachina fera and T. grossa. In the absence of a vernacular name, the two young boys decided on calling these Big Fat Black Flies. It was great to see genuine interest in flies, just goes to show how wildlife can spark an interest in children.
When I got home I wondered if these species were out in my garden, and a quick look on the trusty Achillea found both of them in evidence. First up, T. fera, a parasite of caterpillars and other small insects.
Next up T. grossa, the B-52 of the Diptera world.