Horse fly (with Lady Gaga shades)
Location:Tampico, Tamaulipas, México
September 15, 2010 1:18 pm
Hi there! What a great site you have here. This is my first post, i’m a bug fan myself and i’m constantly taking pictures of different bugs and looking for their scientific names. Sometimes I cannot find them, this is one of them.
I found it outside one of my classrooms at the university. The first thing that caught me were the fantastically multicolored eyes on this (a Tabanidae, I believe), but I wanted to know If there was a more specific name to it.
I took the pictures with my cellphone, so they’re as close as I could get to this fashionista fly.
Signature:  Rexnatus

Horse Fly

Dear Rexnatus,
WE agree that this is a Horse Fly in the genus
Tabanus, but we believe attempting to identify it to the species level may be beyond our capabilities.  Perhaps a Dipterist with a specialization in Tabanidae will write in.  Once the climate gets warmer in the southern portions of North America and close to the Central American divisions, there are certain species that are not as well documented on the internet and perhaps may not even be properly identified.  Not only are the eyes on this female Horse Fly (notice the space between her eyes) quite spectacular, but she has on black leggings.  We would love it if this was a new species that could be called Tabanus rexnatus.  Maybe she is not a distinct species, but rather a southern subspecies.  In that case she could be Tabanus unidentified gaga.

Karl has some thoughts
Horse Fly from Mexico
Hi Daniel and Rexnatus
Similar color patterns of the eyes and legs appear in a number of nearctic and particularly neotropical horse flies so I can’t be absolutely certain, but this really looks like a female Striped Horse Fly (Tabanidae: Tabanus lineola). I don’t know if the species is named for those amazing eyes or the prominent white dorsal stripe on the abdomen, a feature that is unfortunately not visible on the photo posted by Rexnatus. The species is found in the eastern and southern USA, as well as the Gulf Coast of Mexico. There are numerous images on the Bugguide, and a set of photos have been posted by Thomas Shahan on flickr. The latter photos are quite spectacular and show the striking differences between the female and male eyes. Regards.  Karl

One Response to Horse Fly from Mexico

  1. Rexnatus says:

    Hi Karl!

    Thanks for the data. I checked my original photos and one of them does show (faintly) the white dorsal stripe that you mention. After comparing my pics to the ones that appear in the links you posted, we can safely say that it is indeed a Tabanus lineola. So, that wraps it up! This has been a great experience. Thanks again and thanks to Daniel for the prompt response and feedback. Hope you guys liked the image.

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