As with many different tachinids, feminine Tricopoda flies search hosts on which to deposit their eggs. Stink bugs, squash bugs, leaffooted bugs, and different true bugs are on the hit checklist. Upon hatching from the egg, tiny fly larvae drill their means by means of their egg shell after which by means of the outer pores and skin of their buggy host. Inside their host they develop on the bug’s nutrient wealthy tissues. As soon as larval growth is full, maggots bore their means out of the host and drop to the soil under. A pupa types inside the pores and skin of the ultimate stage of the maggot and from this puparium the grownup fly emerges prepared to search out meals and a mate. As you would possibly guess, hosts normally succumb to this parasitic invasion.
However how do these smallish flies discover their hosts? Bugs talk in a wide range of methods utilizing sight, sound, and risky chemical compounds to search out and be a part of different members of their species. Chemical compounds used for communication by members of the identical species are known as pheromones. In a sequence of fascinating research, Jeff Aldrich and his colleagues found how these parasitic flies find their victims. Many species of true bugs produce pheromones that function meeting requires functions of mating or protection. Tachinids use these aggregation pheromones for their very own mischievous goal, to search out hosts that can function meals for his or her parasitic offspring. Whereas this story could appear a little bit darkish, the excellent news right here is that native Trichopoda flies have joined different allies, together with wheel bugs, backyard spiders, robber flies, mantises, and wasps to stymie the shenanigans of invasive pests together with the brown marmorated stink bug.
The intriguing references “The biology of Trichopoda pennipes Fab. (Diptera, Tachinidae), a parasite of the widespread squash bug by Harlan Worthley, “Bug pheromones (Hemiptera, Heteroptera) and tachinid fly host-finding” by Jeff Aldrich, Ashot Khrimian, Aijun Zhang, and Peter Sherer, and “Parasitism of the Invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), by the Native Parasitoid, Trichopoda pennipes (Diptera: Tachinidae)” by Neelendra Ok. Joshi, Timothy W. Leslie, and David J. Biddinger had been used to organize this episode.