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Photo#554936
Horse Fly - Merycomyia whitneyi - male

Horse Fly - Merycomyia whitneyi - Male
Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
July 30, 2011
Size: 19mm

Images of this individual: tag all
Horse Fly - Merycomyia whitneyi - male Horse Fly - Merycomyia whitneyi - male

Moved
Moved from Horse Flies. My heart literally skipped a beat when I saw this image. This is a male Merycomyia whitney, one of the rarest and most enigmatic horse flies in the eastern US. It has a broad range but is rarely collected. It is currently placed in a 'dumping ground' tribe that is otherwise predominantly distributed in the southern hemisphere, and most diverse in Madagascar. The phylogenetic position of Merycomyia is a major unanswered question in tabanid systematics.

You can tell it's not a tabanine because the ocelli are well developed. An odd trait of Merycomyia is that it has fewer free flagellomeres than most horse flies- look at the other photo, you can only count 3, whereas other Nearctic chrysopsines have 4.

Anyway, cheers! This is a great, great find. I would expect some follow up emails from me or other horse fly workers.

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