What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

horse fly from Patagonia, in Argentina and Chile
Sat, Jan 3, 2009 at 1:09 PM
I´m sending a couple of pictures of a real nightmare in the forest of Patagonia during summer´s days. Its scientific name is Scaptia lata and the females are longer than one inch.
Local names are tabano negro or colihuacho
I must confess your site has been addictive to me since I discovered it and sent you my first message asking about a tiger? moth almost one year ago.
Happy New Year and many new bugs for you!
Mirta in San Antonio Oeste, Rio Negro. Argentina
Patagonian forests in Argentina and Chile

Horse Fly from Patagonia

Horse Fly from Patagonia

Hi Mirta,
Thanks for sending us these beautiful images of a gorgeous, but blood thirsty Horse Fly. Thank you also for including both the scientific name and local names. We don’t get many submissions from Argentina or Chile. Thanks also for your kind words regarding our humble site. That is a brave individual handling this female Horse Fly. Male Horse Flies do not bite, but the females will readily bite warm blooded creatures including humans.

Horse Fly from Patagonia

Horse Fly from Patagonia

Hi Daniel!
Thanks for your message
The brave one is me… but I need to tell you that the horse fly was a little dizzy after I punched it with my hand… So I took the picture while giving her time to recover and start flying again. Their bites are really painful, and it is impossible not try  knocking them when you are hiding quietly  to photography an elusive bird and you are pursued by almost 10 of them! Hope you don´t  think it was an unnecesary carnage… 🙂
I´d wish more websites like yours plenty of southamerican bugs. As you know, it is difficult to find places online  to ID our bugs. I will try to submit more when the pictures or the bug deserve it, if it is OK to you.

Update:  May 10, 2019
Daniel has been reading From So Simple a Beginning:  The Four Great Books of Charles Darwin edited by Deward O. Wilson and when he read in The Voyage of the Beagle on page 162 “A good-sized fly (Tabanus) was extremely numerous, and tormented us by its painful bite” he remembered this posting.l

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Patagonia, Chile

6 Responses to Horse Fly from Patagonia

  1. C blake says:

    Went on a rafting trip to Patagonia & these things were everywhere

  2. Chuck Gregory says:

    Just returned from Pucón and Porto Motte last week. These guys were everywhere. They are like the C 130s of the fly world!

  3. Matt says:

    I found a way to make them not to come near you:
    For some weird reason, the horse flies are atracted to black stuff, and maybe “scared” by white stuff, this DOESNT MEAN that by not wearing black stuff, the horse flies dont come at you. They will be always near you.
    And this leads to a second way.
    This might seem inposible, but you can do it.

    You can CATCH A HORSE FLY!
    And how?
    Just before the horse fly arrives on you, you just can catch it with your hand and then hold it.
    Make sure to hold it from its head or body, even that while you hold it, it is imposible that it attacks you, and then you can free it whenever you want.

  4. Saulius says:

    I’m currently bike touring in the lakes area in Chile. They are everywhere near water, but only when the weather is hot. They are atracted by moving and dark colour. Local advice is to put something black a little away from you if you staying in one area. And dont wear black yourself. Luckily they are also not very fast.
    Unlucky for me all my t-shirts were black, so I had to ride my biycle topless during hot days 🙂

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