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The tachinid flies is by far the largest and most important group of insect parasitic flies, with over 1300 species in North America. All species are parasitic in the larval stage, and many are important natural enemies of major pests. Many species of tachinids have been introduced into North America from their native lands to suppress populations of alien pests. Tachinid flies differ in color, size, and shape, but many somewhat resemble house flies. They usually are either gray, black, or striped, and often have many distinct abdominal bristles. Most tachinids attack caterpillars and adult and larval beetles. Other species kill sawfly larvae, various types of true bugs, grasshoppers, or other types of insects. There are many important pests in the North Central states that are suppressed by tachinids.