Shrub Steppe - Eastern Washington State

Thick-headed Fly

Eastern Washington


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Eastern Washington map of wildlife and recreation areas

Related information
Genus Physocephala - Thick-headed Flies - BugGuide
Thick-headed fly - UC Ervine



Thick headed fly pictures
Thick-headed fly


Picture of thick-headed flies mating
Thick-headed flies mating on snow buckwheat


The thick-headed fly may mimic a wasp, but it also eats wasp during its larval stage. This brazen fly is able to catch a wasp in flight with little or no resistance, lay an egg on it and release it to provide a fresh, long-lasting food source for its young. Upon hatching, the larva penetrates the wasp and slowly eats the living, weakening host from the inside. Fully grown larva pupate in holes underground.

Adults drink flower nectar, and can be found in open shrub-steppe during the heat of summer.

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