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The Tachinidae are one of the most successful and diverse families of Diptera, the larvae of almost all being endoparasitic of various other insects. Over 9,500 species have been described worldwide, making the family the second largest in the Diptera to the Limoniidae (Pape et al. 2011). Adults of extant forms are primarily large and conspicuous in form and may be found on foliage, flowers, tree trunks, or in search of hosts. Larvae are the parasitic forms and attack a wide variety of insect hosts.
The fossil record of the family includes 7 species in 5 genera. All are of either Tertiary or Quaternary origin, the oldest record being the genera Lithotachina Townsend and Muscidites Heyden from the Oligocene. O’Hara (2013) reviewed the Eocene fossils described by Townsend and concluded that their placement in Tachinidae was in error. They are treated in this catalog under Unplaced to Family. O’Hara et al. (2014) did further research and transferred two of those genera to other families (Electrotachina Townsend to Sarcophagidae; Paleotachina to Muscidae) where they are junior synonyms.
In addition to the determined forms listed below, undetermined material of this family has been recorded from the Miocene amber of the Dominican Republic (Poinar, 1992; J. Brodzinsky, in litt.).
Ref.: Townsend (1942, review of fossil genera); O’Hara (2013, review of Townsend Eocene taxa); O’Hara et al. (2014, review of Townsend Eocene taxa).
Genus LITHEXORISTA Townsend
LITHEXORISTA Townsend, 1921: 133. Type species: Lithexorista scudderi Townsend, 1921, by original designation.
scudderi Townsend, 1921: 133. NE: USA (Oligocene) [C].
Genus LITHOTACHINA Townsend
LITHOTACHINA Townsend, 1921: 133. Type species: Echinomyia antiqua Heer, 1849, by monotypy.
antiqua Heer, 1849: 247 (Echinomyia). PA: Switzerland (Miocene) [C].
Genus MUSCIDITES Heyden
MUSCIDITES Heyden & Heyden, 1866: 157. Type species: Muscidites deperditus Heyden & Heyden, 1866, by monotypy.
deperditus Heyden & Heyden, 1866: 157. PA: Germany (Oligocene) [C].
Genus AUSTROPHOROCERA Townsend
*AUSTROPHOROCERA Townsend, 1916b: 157. Type species: Phorocera biserialis Macquart, 1847, by original designation.
*PALEXORISTA Townsend, 1921: 134. Type species: Tachina succini Giebel, 1862 [= Masicera solennis Walker, 1858], by original designation.
*PROSTURMIA Townsend, 1927: 69. Type species: Prosturmia profana Townsend, 1927 [= Masicera solennis Walker, 1858], by original designation.
*solennis Walker, 1858: 98 (Masicera). AU: Indonesia (Maluku); widesp. Australian, Oriental Regs. [H]
succini Giebel, 1862: 319 (Tachina). LU (Holocene) [K].
*profana Townsend, 1927: 69 (Prosturmia). OR: Indonesia (Sumatra) [H].
Genus TACHINA Meigen
TACHINA Meigen, 1803: 280. Type species: Musca grossa Linnaeus, 1758, by subsequent designation of Brauer (1893: 489).
Unidentified sp.-PA: Switzerland (Miocene) [C] (Schöberlin, 1888: 68).
Unplaced Species of TACHINIDAE
media Meunier, 1905e: 212 (Thryptocera). AF: Tanzania (Pleistocene/Holocene) [K].
multiciliata Meunier, 1905d: 91 (Myobia). AF: Madagascar (Holocene) [K].