Subject: ID Please
Location: East London, South Africa
February 12, 2017 11:52 am
I received a mobile photo of a rather large fly-like insect that I’m trying to identify for interest sake.
I have attached 2 cropped shots (sorry for poor quality) of the insect. It’s eating on a piece of apple, and a regular house fly can be seen in the background.
The photo was taken in East London, South Africa. Climate is coastal hot and humid.
I’d really appreciate it if you could try ID it for me please.
Many thanks
Signature: Kevin Durst

Male Horse Fly

Dear Kevin,
Because of the large eyes, this Horse Fly in the family Tabanidae can be sexed as male.  We found a similar image on iSpot, but it is only identified to the family level.  Female Horse Flies are blood suckers that commonly trouble livestock, and will bite humans if no four legged hosts are available.  Males only feed on sweets, mainly from fruits and nectar from flowers.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for such a quick response, and for your identification and information…I really do appreciate it.
I asked on a Facebook page dedicated to insect I.D. too, and it’s confirmed as Tabanus biguttatus, known locally as a Hippo Fly.
Best Regards

Thanks for the species name assistance Kevin.  We actually have a well-researched Hippo Fly posting in our archives.

Location: East London, South Africa

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