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One Huge Fly! - Tabanus americanus

One Huge Fly! - Tabanus americanus
Osceola National Forest, Baker County, Florida, USA
June 6, 2006
Size: 34 mm
This remarkably large fly was attracted to my bait trap in the afternoon while I was out studying insects in the area. I dispatched him and posed him on the picnic table for these photos. Sorry for so many, but he is way cool, and there was only one other photo of this insect in bugguide. Enjoy, I know I sure did.

Images of this individual: tag all
One Huge Fly! - Tabanus americanus One Huge Fly! - Tabanus americanus One Huge Fly! - Tabanus americanus One Huge Fly! - Tabanus americanus One Huge Fly! - Tabanus americanus

If you can obtain some Dry Ice and use it as bait in your trap you should be able to get a good variety of tabanids. None as large as this species but some very impressive insects nonetheless. Most species are active during the day but some are crepuscular and some fly at night.

Dry Ice
I assume the flies are attracted by the high carbon dioxide levels from the dry ice. Please educate me. Also, do I add the dry ice to my current bait or is the dry ice the bait? Thanks for your reply and information.

Dry Ice
is the bait, simply use it instead of your current bait. As the dry ice evaporates it releases the CO2 gas and this is what the tabanids home in on. Dry ice comes in large blocks and small nuggets. Nuggets are easiest to use. A piece of dry ice or some nuggets- about the size of an orange should last for a couple of hours. Larger pieces may not last any longer. In humid areas, the water vapor in the air condenses on the dry ice and turns to ice. This water ice blocks the evaporation of the dry ice. Thus large chunks of dry ice may not be as efficacious as smaller pieces.
One way to use dry ice is to have a block in a an insulated container such as a styrofoam cooler and have a 1/2" plastic tube leading from the cooler to the inside of a trap. A stream of CO2 gas will then pour out of the tube. If the cooler is well sealed it should prevent the build up of water ice on the surface of the dry ice.
Note that Dry Ice is extremely cold and must not come in contact with skin - you must handle it with care and use thick gloves.

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