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T. sulcrifrons or abdominalis? - Tabanus sulcifrons - female

T. sulcrifrons or abdominalis? - Tabanus sulcifrons - Female
Lake Wales, Polk County, Florida, USA
June 30, 2006
Size: 18 mm
This horse fly has much wing coloring like sulcrifrons, but abdomen doesn't seem right. The white triangles on the abdomen surely are a clue, but the other color markings are confusing. Help! :)


wonderful image; thanks



Checked my reference materials
and concluded that this is sulcifrons.
Individuals of T.abdominalis, T. gladiator, T. limbatinevris,T. nefarius, T. sucifrons and a 'late-season' Carolina form 'T. sulcifrons' are a difficult group to identify to species.

Tony, thank you so much for your ID expertise and help. These are very difficult to distinguish. I don't have a reference except for bugguide! :) If the photos are correct and show nice clear angles, then I can make a determination for myself, yet I know often times this isn't engough since genetalia and other characteristics should be considered. Good enough for an amateur though. I'm learning.

There are many scientific publications dealing with tabanids; most of which deal with only one state. The one I have for Florida may be available from used-book dealers:
Jones, C.M. & D.W. Anthony. 1964. The Tabanidae (Diptera) of Florida. Technical Bulletin No. 1295. Agr. Res. Service, USDA. 85 pages. Has keys to species, comments on species, and general biology.
The best I have for T. sulcifrons is:
Burger, J.F. 1980. Redescription and lecotype designation of Tabanus sulcifrons Macquart (Diptera:Tabanidae), and comparison to related taxa. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 82:660-667. You may be able to get a copy from Dr. Burger, Dept. of Entomology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824.
Incidentally, that's an excellent image.

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