Currently viewing the category: "Horse Flies and Deer Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

horse fly from Patagonia, in Argentina and Chile
Sat, Jan 3, 2009 at 1:09 PM
Hi!
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.
Hugs
Mirta

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

Fly I Have Never Seen Before
Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 5:20 AM
Bugman, I resent the pictures I originally sent yesterday. Hopefully they are larger. Hi Bugman, I was sitting on my front porch this summer (June maybe) and this little one flew onto the banister and did not move even when I went to touch it. I have never seen a fly like this before or since. I live in Illinois. Love your site.
Fly Curious
Homer Glen, Illinois

Striped Horse Fly

Striped Horse Fly

Dear Fly Curious,
First, thanks for sending the larger photographs.  The original tiny files were not very good for exact identification.  This is a male (we believe) Striped Horse Fly, Tabanus lineola.  According to BugGuide you can distinguish between the sexes this way: “Females: pale median stripe on abdomen bordered by dark submedian stripes; eyes with 3 green bands; scutellum concolorous with thorax
Males: body pattern similar to females; eyes bare (no hairs) with large upper facets sharply differentiated from smaller lower facets; costal cell of wing clear; prescutal lobe paler than rest of thorax; palps white ”

Striped Horse Fly

Striped Horse Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Fly?
Hey,
I am from Atlantic Canada and this summer I went camping with a friend and this little fly wouldn’t leave me alone. It wasn’t interested in my blood because the few times it landed on me it just stayed there and didn’t move. I was able to get tis picture of it and noticed the odd coloration in its eyes. You have any ideas?
Janita Sullivan

Hi Janita,
Your photo is so pretty. We don’t recognize the species of fly. We haven’t pestered Eric Eaton for an identification in a bit, so we will contact him. Here is Eric’s response: “Hi, Daniel: Neat images! The fly is one of the deer flies in the genus Chrysops (family Tabanidae, which includes the horse flies). Personally, I think the psychedelic eyes are a way of mezmerizing their victims (they slice and dice, then lap up the blood that flows from the wound). Deer flies tend to go for the head of human victims, so simply wearing a hat will help discourage them. Keep up the great work! Eric”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Green Eyed Bug
Two of these showed up this morning. They are at least an inch long, (although it looked a lot bigger when it landed on my leg!)
Thanks, Rich Armstrong
North Stonington, CT

Hi Rich,
Luckily you didn’t get bitten by the American Horsefly, Tabanus americanus. It is usually found near swamps, marshes and ponds. Male eats pollen and nectar but the female takes blood from large mammals, including man. According to the Audubon Guide: “When the female bites, the wound inflicted often continues to bleed for several minutes because the fly’s saliva contains an anticoagulant that prevents clotting. A single animal may suffer a debilitating loss of blood if many of these insects attack it.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination