Interesting Facts

Given the painful bites they inflict and their proliferation across the globe, many different areas have special names for species in this genus. To find out why this species was classified in the genus Tabanus you can go to the classification page of this website. In Australia they are known as March Flies and in some parts of Canada are referred to as Bull Dog Flies.  Some other common nicknames given to the horseflies of the Tabanus genus are green heads (for their distinctive green or purple eyes that compose most of the head), gad flies (which may refer to their mouth parts that resemble wedge shaped miners’ tools), breeze fly, and ear fly (Anonymous 2012).  These flies are so notorious that they even penetrate stories of American history.  It is said that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1786, as opposed to a date later in the summer allowing for further deliberation because the Horseflies were biting so ferociously that summer in Philadelphia that the delegates made the decision to adjourn early just to escape the nuisance (Arnett 1985).

General drawing of a Horsefly from the genus Tabanus