Yellow-Horned Horsefly

The Yellow-Horned Horsefly (Hybomitra ciureai) is an insect in the Tabanidae family of biting horseflies, March flies, deerflies, and gadflies. It is a tabanid.

The Yellow-Horned Horsefly has a wide, greyish body, with orange-yellow on the side of its abdomen. It has a large head with large, compound eyes, and orange antennae. The female has scissor-like mouthparts that cut the skin of animals or humans. Its head and thorax have tiny bristles, but there are no hairs on its body. Its wings are clear or greyish-brown.

Yellow-Horned Horsefly

It measures 1-3 centimetres (about an inch) in length, with a wingspan of 6 centimetres (2.5 inches).  

It is native to Europe and Asia. It is seen from May to September. It is diurnal, active during the day. It prefers to fly in sunlight, and it avoids dark places. It rests at night. 

The female Yellow-Horned Horsefly feeds on blood and flower nectar. The male feeds on nectar from flowers, and plant juices. The female usually chooses large mammals for blood, such as cattle, horses, camels, and deer.

The female lays up to 1,000 eggs in vegetation near water. She needs to feed on blood before depositing her mass of eggs. The eggs hatch after 6 days. They hatch into larvae (grubs). The larvae pupate and the adult fly emerges after about 14 days. This process is called metamorphosis. 

Yellow-Horned Horsefly
Yellow-Horned Horsefly

Location of photographs: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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