Tabanus atratus

Black Horse Fly

Family: Tabanidae

Subfamily: Tabaninae

Length: typically about 20-23 mm


Tabanus atratus is among the very largest of the West Virginia species of horse fly. The wings, thorax, head, and abdomen are all black (with sometimes a blue tinge on the abdomen).

Teskey (1969) stated that the most common larval collection sites for Tabanus atratus were sluggish streams, farm ponds, and ditches with little surrounding vegetation.

Burger (1995) provides distribution information for this species: "Montana and Manitoba to Quebec, south to New Mexico and Florida." West Virginia records are indicated on the map below, but Drees, Butler, and Pechuman (1980) indicate that Tabanus atratus is probably found statewide, albeit in low numbers.

Tabanus atratus ovipositing

Tabanus atratus range map, West Virginia

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