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Fly  Horse Fly

Horse Fly - Photo  Copyright 2003 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
A great way to see all the details on these insects and other small creatures is with a special magnifier box - click here

Latin name: Tabanidae

Size: From 8 to 23mms depending on the species

Distibution: Found throughout the UK.

Months seen: May to September

Food: Females suck the blood of mammals. The males are nectar feeders.

Habitat: Fields and hedgerows, especially near water

Special features: Although the male horse fly is a nectar feeder, the female horse fly can give a painful bite with their sharp, piercing mouthparts. The bite leaves a triangular hole in the skin and can cause a large swelling.

Unlike mosquitoes, they make a much lower pitched humming noise when they fly, so you don't always hear them coming.

Their one redeeming characteristic is their amazing eyes, which feature bands of brilliant colours.

The maggot-like larvae of horse flies live in mud, feeding on decaying vegetable matter or small creatures (depending on the species).


Track Down More Info

UK Safari Creepy-Crawlies Section








  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved