What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

black fly/bee thing
This insect came in through an open door today in League City, Texas. It buzzed like a huge bee but looked more like a giant fly. It wouldn’t hold still very well for pictures but was pretty much all black….. body, wings, legs… pure black. It was approximately 1.5 inches long and had a huge mouth or nose area that appeared to expand in width and then be slim again = like a point you wouldn’t want to be poked with. Thanks for the help.

Hi Leslie,
We are checking with Eric Eaton to see if he can identify the species of Black Horse Fly you photographed. It is in the genus Tabanus and females are blood suckers that bite painfully.

Update from Eric Eaton: (10/16/2005)
“Pretty sure this IS T. atratus. Don’t know of any other very large, all-black species. This one is a female (males have HUGE eyes that meet in the middle (top) of the head. This species is thought to be the Tlue-Tail Fly of folksong fame. Eric”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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One Response to Black Horse Fly

  1. Susan Parks says:

    This looks EXACTLY like the ones that hang out around my front porch this time of year…lots of bright sun and my porch rails are painted deep dark black. These flies are enormous and zoom in like stelth bombers but do well to avoid me and sit still for extended periods. Saw one today at least 1-1/2″x1/2″ and at close observation appeared to be covered in fur. Though I live in the country where there may be horses or cattle, I only have seen flies like this on my porch.

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