Horse Fly





  Classification  

Order:   Diptera

  Development  

Holometabola

  Ecological role  

Vertebrate Parasite

Economic
  importance  

Females are blood-sucking pests of many warm-blooded animals, including people.   Males do not feed on blood.   Found worldwide, they cause great annoyance, and are suspected vectors of several livestock diseases, including hog cholera virus, infectious anemia in horses, and anaplasmosis bacteria of cattle.   Larvae are predaceous on small invertebrates and consume organic matter.

Distinguishing
  characteristics  

Adults are moderate to large flies (14 to 19 mm long) with a "swept-wing" appearance and large heads that are mostly compound eyes.   Mature larvae are white, brownish or greenish in color, spindle-shaped, and taper to a point at both ends.   The head is small, cylindrical and retractable.




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Last Updated:   18 October 2003
John R. Meyer
Department of Entomology
NC State University