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NC State Extension

Cylindromyia Fly

  • Common Name: Cylindromyia Fly
  • General Category: Parasitoid
  • Taxonomic Classification: Diptera:Tachinidae
  • Scientific Name: Cylindromyia fumipennis

Description

Most tachinid flies are beneficial and attack pest insects. However, this one is parasitic on several predatory stink bugs, including the spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris, the anchor bug, Stiretrus anchorago, and Euthyrhynchus floridanus. Because of this, it may not be beneficial, but rather may interfere with the natural control provided by these predators. Adults are most easily seen when feeding on nectar-producing flowering plants. Like other tachinids, female flies will lay their oval-shaped white eggs on the exterior of their host. In a few days the eggs hatch and larvae burrow into the bugs to feed on their insides.

Cylindromyia fly adult Cylindromyia fly eggs and larvae

Identification

Review the images for tips on how to identify these predators.

Adults

This fly has the large abdominal bristles, and short antennae that are typical of most tachinds. Aside from the brown patches on either side of a thin black abdomen, it has behavioral characteristics that make it easily identifiable in the field. When feeding on flowers, it holds its wings out to either side, and it’s abdomen upwards.

Larvae

Because the grub-like larvae are internal parasites of stink bugs, they are not normally seen unless a host is dissected or a larva happens to finish development and emerge from a bug while being observed. However, the eggs can often be seen on the exoskeleton of the host.

Value in Pest Management

Because these flies parasitize several predatory stink bugs, they may be detrimental to pest management if in high numbers.

Origin and Distribution

Native in the United States.

Discover Life – Cylindromyia

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