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Horse Fly
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Horse Fly

Order: Diptera

Family: Tabanidae

Pest Status: Horse flies are vicious biters and may draw blood from people, as well as from horses and other animals.

Appearance: Horse flies are large (3/4 to 1-inch long) and heavy- bodied with large heads. They can be brown, black, or gray and their eyes are sometimes crossed with red-gold bands.

Life Cycle: Eggs are deposited in masses on vegetation near water. The eggs hatch within two weeks and the larvae drop down and burrow into moist soil found in marshes, stream banks, and bottoms of lakes and ponds. The larvae overwinter in these soils and eventually mature in the late spring. Pupation occurs in drier soil and usually lasts one week. The adults appear in early summer.

Where to Collect: Horse flies are most active in hot weather. They also prefer wet environments.