Male Black Horse Fly

Subject: Darth Vader bug
Location: north Illinois WI border
July 7, 2013 5:57 pm
This black insect died next to me . The insect is all black one inch long with a wingspan of 1 1/4 Inch. The eyes are the most interesting
Signature: jack Speer

Male Black Horse Fly
Male Black Horse Fly

Hi Jack,
This is a male Black Horse Fly,
Tabanus atratus, and this submission from 2010 also described it as looking like Darth Vader.  The eyes of male Horse Flies have no spacing between them, while the eyes of female Horse Flies have a noticeable space.  Only female Horse Flies suck the blood from warm blooded creatures, and they will bite humans if there is no livestock upon which to feed.  According to BugGuide:  “Females feed on mammalian blood, while males, which lack mandibles, feed on nectar and plant juices (Long 2001). This species especially prone to attack cattle and other livestock.”

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