Common Eastern Physocephala

Physocephala tibialis

''Physocephala tibialis'' is a species of thick-headed fly found throughout the eastern United States, often near flowering plants. The adult fly is primarily black with a yellow face and thin white stripes on the abdomen. It is commonly found along the east coast of the United States and is often found near flowering plants.
Thick-headed Fly - Physocephala tibialis Habitat: On mountain mint; garden Diptera,Geotagged,Physocephala tibialis,Summer,United States,conopidae,fly,thick-headed fly

Distribution

''P. tibialis'' is found in North America, primarily along the east coast of the United States. They can be seen as far north as Massachusetts and as south as Florida. They have also been seen as far west as Wisconsin and Texas.
Thick-headed Fly - Physocephala tibialis Habitat: Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata); meadow
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/118488/thick-headed_fly_-_physocephala_tibialis.html
 Common Eastern Physocephala,Diptera,Geotagged,Physocephala,Physocephala tibialis,Summer,Thick-headed Fly,United States,fly

Behavior

The growth and development of ''P. tibialis'' is fairly unique in that a single egg is laid inside of a Hymenopteran host. After hatching, the larva parasitizes the nutrients of the host in order to grow and develop through three instar stages. The host eventually dies and the larva then pupates inside of the corpse until its emergence as an adult fly.
Physocephala tibialis Commonly known as hick-headed flies. Exhibiting mimicry of wasps, bees, or flies of the family Syrphidae, (themselves notable bee mimics).

10 mm length Common Eastern Physocephala,Conopid fly,Conopidae,Diptera,Geotagged,Macro,Mimicry,North America,Physocephala tibialis,Summer,United States,arthropod,insect,invertebrate,pennsylvania,thick-headed fly

Habitat

''P. tibialis'' can often be found near flowering plants, likely due to the presence of host species pollinating nearby plants. They have not been seen to prefer specific species of plants, and attack host species at a variety of different flowering plants.
Thick-headed Fly - Physocephala tibialis Habitat: Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata); meadow
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/118487/thick-headed_fly_-_physocephala_tibialis.html Common Eastern Physocephala,Geotagged,Physocephala tibialis,Summer,United States

Reproduction

''P. tibialis'' flies, along with a few other Conopidae species, lay their eggs inside bees and wasps. The larva has a white and bulging appearance right after it emerges from the egg around one to two days after it is laid. It uses its pointed, extendable mouth to rupture the egg.

The larva then goes through 3 instar stages, molting between each stage. During the first two instar stages, the larva feeds on the hemolymph of the host. In the third instar stage, the larva primarily feeds on the intestinal tissue of the host. The first and second instar phases last between two and three days each, and the third instar phase lasts around four to five days.

This entire development period of about 10–12 days takes place within the abdomen of the host. The larva is around 30–60 mm long when fully grown.''P. tibialis'' remains enclosed in its Hymenopteran host for the entire larval stage of development. During the first and second instar stages, the larva primarily consumes the hemolymph of the host for nutrients. During the third instar stage, the larva begins to consume the intestinal tissue of the host.

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderDiptera
FamilyConopidae
GenusPhysocephala
SpeciesP. tibialis