Fly (Australian Leafroller Tachinid) Trigonospila brevifacies
Species: T. brevifacies
Binomial name: Trigonospila brevifacies
Common name: Australian Leafroller Tachinid, Australian Leaf-Roller Fly, Leafroller Fly
Trigonospila brevifacies is a species of true fly in the family Tachinidae native to eastern Australia. Like the vast majority of tachinid flies, T. brevifacies is a parasitoid of other insects, specifically late larval stages of a number of species of Lepidoptera. It can be recognised by its distinctive markings. They are primarily black with pearly whitish to golden transverse bars on the thorax and abdomen.
Trigonospila brevifacies is the only Trigonospila present in New Zealand as it was introduced in the 1960s and 70s from Australia as a biocontrol agent of a number of agricultural pest species including the light brown apple moth Epiphyas postvittana and the potato tuber moth Phthorimaea operculella. Trigonospila brevifacies is established and common throughout the North Island and on a number of offshore islands.
The fly normally lays a single egg just behind the head of the caterpillar so that one parasitoid is produced from each host. After parasitised the caterpillar continues to develop, usually to the pupal stage before dying. By this stage the parasite has formed a puparium (inside the pupa) from which the adult fly later emerges.
5mm body length.