Bug parasite

Less windy today for a trip to the Great Fen with Chris and Pete. I decided to accompany them to their survey area, which I'd not previously visited, though began to doubt the wisdom of my choice when I found that I had to walk nearly a kilometre along a rough grass track lined with Cow Parsley that was almost taller than me!

I found one stretch of Cow Parsley, sheltered by the adjacent woodland, that was heaving with insects, and spent a happy time there photographing them. This was probably my favourite subject  - the Tachinid fly Phasia hemiptera, an unlikely looking creature whose iridescent wings flash shades of blue and purple in the sunlight. It is a parasite of Heteropteran bugs, with known hosts including Green Shieldbug and Forest Bug. The female lays her eggs on these insects and the larvae then develop inside the living host. 

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