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Striped Horsefly

Tabanus subsimilis


This horse fly is approximately 1/2 inch in length. It is light brown overall with whitish stripes on the abdomen and thorax. The thorax is covered in thick, short brown hair. Legs are two-toned light with dark tibia and tarsi. The male, (not shown) has very large eyes that touch at the top of the head. The female, shown in photos, have colorful eyes that don't touch at the top of the head. Only the females in this family bite. Males are rarely encountered but when they are they are usually found on flowers taking nectar.


This horse fly is considered common in forest and near woods.


Tabanid flies, typically, lay eggs on vegetation overhanging water or wet soil. The larvae are entirely predacious, and often cannibalistic, and have mandibles that work parallel to one another in the vertical plane like fangs.

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RickBohler 8 years ago

Thanks GreenBugs, Well this girl was not a willing participant in the photo-shoot She could not fly and after the shoot I set her free only to be eaten by a lizard in less than 30 seconds of her freedom..... bummer!

GreenBugs 8 years ago

very nice job getting the eye stripes, along with the white strip down the abdomen. The fly must have sat still for some time in order to get so many different pictures.

RickBohler 8 years ago

Thanks Stephanie :)

Stephanie R.
Stephanie R. 8 years ago

Wow! Fantastic photos, Rick!

RickBohler 8 years ago

Thank you rams :) I really enjoyed looking at all your spottings

rams4d 8 years ago

Very Impressive, awesome, excellent zoom, you are the best, congrats !!!

Spotted by

Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Spotted on Jul 28, 2014
Submitted on Jul 29, 2014

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