home   about   search

biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Tabanidae (horse flies)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Phylum: Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola > Holometabola > Panorpida > Antliophora > Diptera (flies) > Brachycera > Tabanomorpha

Long-proboscid fly, Philoliche 
		rostrata, pollinating Erica irbyana

A long-proboscid tabanid fly, Philoliche rostrata, pollinating Erica irbyana in the Klein River Mountains, Western Cape, South Africa. [photo Colin Paterson-Jones ]

Haematopota sp. (clegs)

Haematopota sp. (clegs), sucking blood from photographer, Kleinmond, Western Cape. [photo Hamish Robertson]

Female tabanids suck blood from animals, including humans. Adults take nectar from flowers and long-tongued tabanids, mainly in the genus Philoliche, are important pollinators of some fynbos flowers. Larvae live in moist soil or mud, usually near water, and either feed on decaying vegetable matter or are predatory on invertebrates such as insect larvae. A total of 177 species have been recorded from South Africa (SA Animal Checklist).