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Horse Fly

Description: Horse flies are large, robust insects that usually circle an intended victim several times before settling for a blood meal. They buzz loudly in flight and as their name implies, may often be found around horses and other livestock. Horsefly larvae are found near the margins of ponds, swamps and other freshwater habitats.

  • Females feed on mammal blood, they locate victims by tracking the carbon dioxide produced by respiration. This is why you might see them hovering around automobile exhaust pipes. Scientists that study these flies take advantage of this behavior when trapping them for study, traps are baited with dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide).
  • Warning Horse Flies produce a painful bite. The mouthparts of the females are shaped like two serrated blades which cut into the skin and draw blood into the space between them.
  • Habitat Horse Flies breed near freshwater habitats but may travel long distances in search of blood meals.