Tachinidae is a large and rather variable family of true flies within the insect order Diptera, with more than 8,200 known species and many more to be discovered. There are over 1300 species in North America. Insects in this family are commonly called tachina flies or simply tachinids. As far as is known, they all are Protelean parasitoids, or occasionally parasites, of Arthropoda.
True flies are insects of the orderDiptera (from the Greek di = two, and ptera = wings). Their most obvious distinction from other orders of insects is that a typical fly possesses a pair of flight wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax. (Some species of flies are exceptional in that they are secondarily flightless). The only other order of insects bearing two true, functional wings plus any form of halteres are the Strepsiptera, and in contrast to the flies, the Strepsiptera bear their halteres on the mesothorax and their flight wings on the metathorax.