Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Genus Tabanus

Horse fly - Tabanus abdominalis - female BG908 C8761 - Tabanus equalis - female Nocturnal Horse Fly - Tabanus - female Horse Fly - Tabanus petiolatus - female large Horse Fly - Tabanus catenatus Tabanid - Tabanus - female Horse Fly - Tabanus Horse fly - Tabanus pallidescens - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Orthorrhapha)
Infraorder Tabanomorpha
Family Tabanidae (Horse and Deer Flies)
Subfamily Tabaninae (Horse Flies)
Tribe Tabanini
Genus Tabanus
Other Common Names
ta-bā'-nus(1) (ta-BAY-nus)
Explanation of Names
Tabanus Linnaeus 1758
name used by the Romans for a kind of biting fly(1)(2)
>100 spp. in our area(3), hundreds? in the Old World
8-27 mm(4)
diverse genus; examples:

The 6 views shown below should enable any North American tabanid (Tabanus, Hybomitra and other Tabanid genera) to be identified to species:
dorsal view of entire fly to show abdominal pattern
lateral view of entire fly to show leg colour
face view to show frons, calli, eye pattern, and palps
frontal/lateral view of face to show antennae, palps, and eye pattern
lateral view of face to show antennae, palps, and eye pattern
wing to show spots (if any) and colour of wing membrane
holarctic(5); in our area, most diverse in so. US, with only 30 spp. in Canada and Alaska(4)
Throughout year in Florida; spring and summer further north.
Genus 1 (of 6) in the Tribe: Tabanini (which is Tribe 3 of the Subfamily: Tabaninae).
The 108 taxa (107 spp., 1 ssp.) are mostly southern (USA) compared to the mostly northern (Canada) genus Hybomitra. For example, Virginia has an estimated 53 spp. of Tabanus and 11 spp. of Hybomitra, whereas New Brunswick has 8 spp. of Tabanus and 20 spp. of Hybomitra.
Very few photos of adults; great opportunity for photographers to make a significant contribution.