An undescribed microsporidium was found infecting Tachinaephagus zealandicus
, a gregarious parasitoid that attacks third instar larvae of muscoid flies. Spores were present in all body regions and in all stages of development. Infected adults contained an average of 3.75 x 105
spores, and the pathogen was vertically transmitted to progeny. Infected female adults were fed either rifampicin or albendazole mixed with honey to determine the effectiveness of these drugs in preventing vertical transmission. After eight days of feeding on rifampicin the parasitoids produced progeny of which only 37% were infected. In contrast, albendazole-treated and untreated females produced progeny that were 97% and 100% infected, respectively. Healthy and infected colonies were established and studies were conducted to determine the mechanisms of transmission. It was observed that the efficiency of vertical (maternal) transmission was 96.3%. Uninfected parasitoid immatures also became infected when they shared superparasitized hosts with infected immatures. The method of transmission within superparasitized hosts is not known.