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Tachinid Flies

My first Tachinid fly of the year: probably Macquartia grisea (Diptera: Tachinidae), a male.  According to two authorities on Tachinid flies, this species does not normally appear until the end of April, so this individual was about 6 weeks early.

Ten days later I came across a female of the same species:

This was on the same bush as I had seen the male.  Note the big difference in the gap between the eyes. 

And this is the female from a slightly different angle:

I have to admit that on both days I had assumed that I was photographing a fairly standard Muscid fly, and I didn't spot the long spines in the abdomen until I had got home and had a chance to look at the photos on my computer.

Photos taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK on 2012-03-11 (male) and 2012-03-21 (female).

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