Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Hamatabanus exilipalpis? - Hamatabanus carolinensis

Hamatabanus exilipalpis? - Hamatabanus carolinensis
Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
June 5, 2007
Photographed outside a gas station in north Raleigh. I don't know if there is enough in the photograph for a positive ID but I am still curious.

Images of this individual: tag all
Hamatabanus exilipalpis? - Hamatabanus carolinensis Hamatabanus exilipalpis? - Hamatabanus carolinensis

Moved from Horse Flies.

Narrowing it down...
That strongly projecting hook of the flagellum helps to narrow it down greatly. The possible Tabanus candidates can be ruled out. It's neither Agkistrocerus nor Stenotabanus. That leaves Hamatabanus. H. annularis and H. carolinensis, the original two placed in the genus by Philip (the genotype scitus was synonymized with carolinensis), are the only species actually possessing the hooked flagellum; Dr. Burger notes this in his catalog. Dr. Burger's catalog helps to narrow it down further as the range of annularis is the Gulf Coast. Raleigh fits the range of the other species wonderfully. Therefore, I propose we add a new species, Hamatabanus carolinensis, to Bugguide.

Where did you get
your info. regarding the hooked flagellum in Hamatabanus?

Concerning Hamatabanus...
The information is in Dr Burger's 1995 "Catalog of Tabanidae North of Mexico" in Contributions on Entomology, International. It can be found under "Proposed Taxonomic Changes" in the beginning of the catalog.

Concerning exilipalpis, he states "the basal flagellomere is enlarged dorsally into a distinct tooth, but it does not project forward as in annularis or carolinensis."

Concerning floridensis, he states "...based on the very broad front slender basal flagellomere without a well-devloped dorsal angle or tooth..."

Concerning quaesitus, he states " most like the species with a hooked flagellum, although this characteristic is not present in H. quaesitus."

Over a decade old comment, bu
Over a decade old comment, but do floridensis and queasitus have stout flagellomeres as does exilipalpis?

Fair enough
There are problems.

Walker (1848) described Tabanus scitus.

Osten Sacken (1876) described Tabanus cerastes and commented that Walker's description of scitus "comes nearest to my No. 42, T. cerastes, on account of the structure of the antennae; in other respects the description is unmeaning."

Osten Sacken also thought that Macquart's T. hirtioculatus "may betray the male of my T. cerastes No. 42."

Stone (1938) placed Walker's scitus in the genus Dicladocera, as Dicladocera scita.

Stone also placed Osten Sacken's T. cerastes and Macquart's T. hirtioculatus as synonyms of Walker's scitus.

Here's the problem.
I don't have Macquart's original paper describing Tabanus carolinensis.
However, Osten Sacken (1876) comments that this species (carolinensis) "belongs to the group of T. socius, or perhaps of T. microcepahalus, astutus, etc.?"
These species are nothing like scitus/cerastes/hirtioculatus.

Stone (1938) re-described Macquart's carolinensis and gave a drawing of the face, palp, and antennae. His description and drawings are nothing like scitus/cerastes/hirtioculatus.

So, what is the correct name for Lauren's fly? I would say Hamatabanus scitus.

After some research...
I think I can shed some light on the problem. Dr. Burger includes two entries for Tabanus carolinensis in the catalog, one authored by (Macquart) and one "of authors, not Macquart." The latter is the one re-described by Stone (1938) and the one Osten Sacken (1876) believed "belongs to the group...etc." Carolinensis, of authors, is Hybomitra difficilis. I later found that Philip (1947) actually discusses this very issue and comes to the same conclusion.

As far as carolinensis (Macquart) is concerned, Philip (1950) in his addendum to the 1947 catalog noted that the cause of the confusion “of authors” was due to the inadequacy of the original description by Macquart. As a result he asked one of the heads of the Natural History Museum in Paris to send him information regarding the syntypes. Upon receiving this info (including diagrams of hooked antennae), Philip determined that Macquart’s original fly was, in fact, conspecific with the genotype of Hamatabanus. He then synonymized scitus (Walker) with carolinensis (Macquart), giving priority to the latter. That is where the matter has stood for the past 58 years.

As a side note, I do have access to Macquart's original description of Tabanus carolinensis. It as, as Philip notes, a bit inadequate just as many of the early descriptions are.

When I originally read your post yesterday, I was much inclined to agree with you. In light of this new information, however, I see no reason to sink Macquart’s species unless another investigation of the syntypes is undertaken and it can be determined that Philip was in error. Thus, I think Hamatabanus carolinensis (Macquart) should be the name of Lauren's fly.

piece of research.
This fly does match a specimen I have identified as H. carolinensis by Pechuman.

Thank you
very much. I'm glad we could solve this mystery and add to the scope of this wonderful database.


Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.