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1 June 2015 An Annotated Checklist of the Horse Flies, Deer Flies, and Yellow Flies (Diptera: Tabanidae) of Florida
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

The last compilation of the Tabanidae of Florida was published in 1964 by Calvin Jones & Darrell Anthony. Since then, several taxonomic and distributional changes have been made, as well as the addition of several state locality records. We have compiled a list of Tabanidae species currently present in the state of Florida, or potentially present in Florida based on surrounding state records, using literature surveys and personal examinations of the collections at the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Gainesville, Florida, USA. Currently, 124 species/subspecies are recorded from Florida, with an additional 15 species with likely Florida distributions from 15 different genera. In contrast, Jones & Anthony (1964) recognized 118 species among 14 genera. Although the number of species is not vastly different, much taxonomic revision has been done to the Florida Tabanidae. Three new Florida records are presented for Tabanus reinwardtii Weidemann, 1828, Chlorotabanus mexicanus (L.,1758), and Tabanus yucatanus Townsend, 1897.

The family Tabanidae includes horse flies, deer flies, and yellow flies, which are considered significant pests of livestock in the United States (Hansens 1979; Goodwin et al. 1985). Most females require a blood meal for egg production, although autogeny has been documented in several species (Rockel 1969; Anderson 1971; Burger & Lake 1980). In Florida, there is 1 known species, Asaphomyia floridensis Pechuman, that does not feed on blood at all (Pechuman 1974), and the reduced mouthparts of the genus Merycomyia suggest that this genus also is not hematophagous although data on feeding habits and behavior is still lacking (Jones & Anthony 1964). Anautogenous tabanid females ingest blood by lacerating the skin with serrated mouthparts and lapping up the pooled blood, which can cause significant irritation to the host. Several commercial adult tabanid traps are available along with blueprints for homemade traps on the internet, though studies focusing on population reduction in the environment are lacking.

Eggs are laid in a variety of habitats, often on vegetation along the perimeter of permanent or temporary bodies of water (Jones & Anthony 1964). Most Tabanidae are thought of as having aquatic larval stages, with larvae inhabiting moist or saturated soils around lakes, streams, ponds, and even roadside ditches; however, Wilson (1969) collected several larval specimens of serious pest species from the soil and debris of mostly dry hardwood hammocks in an alluvial forest in Louisiana. The larval and pupal ecology of many species is still unknown, perhaps due to a sampling bias towards aquatic environments. Many larvae are predacious, feeding on macroinvertebrates in the environment. Larval and pupal descriptions, habitats, and life histories are still undocumented for several tabanid species. Life cycles can range from a few weeks to several years (Jones & Anthony 1964). Larval control methods have been attempted such as water impoundment and chemical controls with mediocre results (Anderson & Kneen 1969; Anderson 1985). Long-term control is difficult to achieve due to ecological patchiness of larval habitats, large population numbers, varying life histories, different seasonal distributions, and extensive life cycles.

Tabanids can easily become a major pest of man, especially salt marsh species that are known to readily feed on humans and often inhabit coastal tourist areas, golf courses, campgrounds, etc. (Hansens 1979). In extreme cases, tabanid infestations can cause a decrease in property values (Gerhardt et al. 1973). Tabanids are known to be mechanical vectors of several animal diseases such as equine infectious anemia virus, bovine leukemia virus, hog cholera virus, anaplasmosis, anthrax, tularemia, and several other serious diseases of veterinary concern (Krinsky 1976; Foil 1989). Perhaps even more significant than livestock pathogen transmission are the economic losses farmers experience during large tabanid infestations. Laceration of the skin by feeding females causes significant irritation to the host. Many livestock hosts respond with an attempt to dislodge the flies, but tabanids are persistent biters and will relocate until fully engorged (Foil 1983). During heavy infestations, livestock may decrease grazing and lose body weight due to the amount of time spent trying to dislodge the flies (Perich et al. 1986), which can also decrease milk production (Hansens 1979). Cattle that have been fed on by 66 to 90 horse flies per day may suffer from decreased feeding efficiency by up to 16.9% (Perich et al. 1986). Further studies on economic and veterinary impacts of tabanid feeding are still needed. In order to proceed with veterinary, ecological, and economic studies of the Tabanidae in Florida, we have developed a taxonomically organized and up-to-date record of species for the state. Currently, we have identified 124 species/subspecies documented from Florida, with an additional 15 possible species, representing 15 genera. In comparison, 138 species have been recorded from Georgia at the time of Burger's (1995) catalog. Sampling in Alabama has not extensively been undertaken, but it is likely that species numbers are similar to neighboring Georgia and Florida.

Materials and Methods

The last complete compilation of the Tabanidae of Florida was conducted in 1964 by Calvin Jones and Darrell Anthony (Jones & Anthony 1964). Since then, several taxonomic and distributional changes have been made by various authors. The included annotations following species names are those records that have been published since Jones and Anthony's 1964 publication or personal notes. If no annotations are present after a species name, no records have been updated since 1964. For annotations prior to 1964, see Jones & Anthony (1964) and Bargren (1961).

Nomenclature for our list follows that of Burger (1995). Burger (1995) noted that many species had designated variations or subspecies based solely on color. After studying several of these species, he determined that southern specimens often exhibited a melanistic variation (with intermediates) of the color form fairly consistently, and therefore determined that these are not varieties or subspecies but simply melanistic forms of the corresponding northern species.

Following Fairchild & French (1999), we have included 15 species (in parentheses) that have distribution records in surrounding states but no official records from Florida. It is possible, based on habitats and distribution, that these species are present in Florida though not yet documented. We removed Tabanus catenatus Walker, 1848 from that list due to the possible misidentification of the Georgia specimens. Burger (1995) lists the southern distribution of T. catenatus to only North Carolina; therefore it is not included here. To date, Florida has 124 species/subspecies of Tabanidae, with an additional 15 possible species representing 15 genera lacking a current Florida record.

Additionally, we have not included any misidentifications in the synonymy of species names unless they directly relate to Florida records. To see synonymous misidentifications, see Burger (1995). Subspecies status was assigned following Burger's (1995) catalog. A notation of “FSCA” after the Florida record indicates CMZN personally examined specimens housed at the Florida State Collection of Arthropods (FSCA) at the Department of Plant Industry in Gainesville, Florida. Notations on several species were compiled from literature and collection records, though much remains unknown, especially regarding larval ecology. In many cases, observations are based on 1 or few specimens or records. The FSCA houses many personal Tabanidae collections, and a thorough examination of individual specimens may yield extended flight times and distributions for the state. The majority of Florida species have a distribution of “North” or “North and Central” Florida. It is true that North Florida represents the southernmost range extension for many species; however, sampling has historically been biased towards these locations. Very little sampling has been done in Central and South Florida, wherefore a species identification should never be ruled out simply based on our locality data. It is also possible that there may be unidentified or undocumented species from that region, including Caribbean species that have established populations in South Florida.

A new state record is presented for Tabanus reinwardtii Wiedemann, 1828. Four specimens were caught in Bay County, Florida, in 1999 in a French 2-tier box trap by James Cilek and Mary Ann Olson of the Public Health Entomology Research and Education Center, Florida A&M University, Panama City, Florida. Identifications were confirmed by John Burger. Previously, T. reinwardtii was known only from Canada, south to Georgia and Louisiana, and west to Colorado (Burger 1995). A new state record is presented for Chlorotabanus mexicanus (L., 1758), previously recorded from Panama to Mexico. Three females and 1 male were caught and identified on Big Pine Key, Florida, by Günter Müller of the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, in 1999. Finally, a new state record also is presented for Tabanus yucatanus Townsend, 1897, previously documented from the Yucatan Peninsula. Two specimens were taken in a malaise trap on Cedar Key, Florida, by Müller and Revay, of the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.

Results

Supplementary material for this article is online in Florida Entomologist 98(2) (June 2015) at  http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/entomologist/browse. Each supplementary table and figure is referred to herein as either Suppl. Table or as Suppl. Fig.

Annotated checklist of Florida Tabanidae

  • Agkistrocerus finitimus (Stone), 1938

  • Agkistrocerus megerlei (Wiedemann), 1828

    • Florida Record: Osten Sacken 1878 (as T. megerlei), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus megerlei Wiedemann, 1828, Dicladocera megerlei (Wiedemann)

  • Anacimas limbellatus Enderlein, 1923

  • Asaphomyia floridensis Pechuman, 1974

    • Florida Record: Pechuman 1974, FSCA

    • Pechuman 1974. New species.

      • Note: Listed as a “Species of Concern”. Reviewed for threatened or endangered status by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission in 1994.

  • Chlorotabanus crepuscularis (Bequaert), 1926 (Suppl. Fig. 7)

    • Florida Record: Osten Sacken 1876 (as T. mexicanus), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Chlorotabanus flavus Macquart, 1834; Chlorotabanus mexicanus, authors, not Linnaeus; Chlorotabanus sulphureus, authors, not Palisot de Beauvois

  • Chlorotabanus mexicanus (Linnaeus, 1758)

  • NEW RECORD

    • Florida Record: G. Müller & E. Revay 1998 (unpubl.). Three females and 1 male were collected in a malaise trap on the Big Pine Key in Apr 1999. Previously, this species is known from northern South America, throughout Mexico, and in the Caribbean.

      The specimens are deposited in Col. G.C. Müller and in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Department of Plant Industry, Gainesville, Florida.

  • Chrysops abatus Philip, 1941

  • Chrysops amazon Daecke, 1905

  • Chrysops atlanticus Pechuman, 1949 (Suppl. Table 2)

  • Chrysops beameri Brennan, 1935

  • Chrysops bistellatus Daecke, 1905

  • Chrysops brimleyi Hine, 1904

  • Chrysops brunneus Hine, 1903

    • Florida Record: Brennan 1935, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Chrysops brunnea (Hine 1903)

      • Note: Member of the C. flavidus species group (Baier 1999).

  • Chrysops callidus Osten Sacken, 1875 (Suppl. Table 2)

  • Chrysops calvus (Pechuman & Teskey, 1967)

  • Chrysops carbonarius Walker, 1848

    • Florida Record: Philip 1955 (as C. carbonaria)

    • Synonymy: Chrysops provocans Walker, 1850

  • Chrysops celatus Pechuman, 1949

    • Florida Record: Tidwell 1973, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Chrysops flavidus celata Pechuman, 1949

      • Note: Member of the C. flavidus species group (Baier 1999).

  • Chrysops cincticornis Walker, 1848 (Suppl. Table 2)

  • Chrysops cincticornis nigropterus Fairchild, 1937

  • Chrysops cursim Whitney, 1879 (Suppl. Fig. 1)

  • Chrysops dacne Philip, 1955

    • Florida Record: Philip 1955

      • Note: Species pair with C. parvulus as noted in collections in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Department of Plant Industry, Gainesville, Florida.

  • Chrysops dimmocki Hine, 1905

    • Florida Record: Philip, 1947 (mentioned as part of the C. pudicus species group), FSCA

  • Chrysops divisus Walker, 1848

  • Chrysops dixianus Pechuman, 1974

  • Chrysops dorsopunctus Fairchild, 1937

  • Chrysops dorsovittatus Hine, 1907

  • Chrysops flavidus Wiedemann, 1821 (Suppl. Table 2; Suppl. Fig. 2)

    • Florida Record: Johnson & Coquillett 1895, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Chrysops pallida Macquart, 1838; Chrysops pallidus Bellardi, 1859

      • Note: The C. flavidus species group contains: C. atlanticus, C. brunneus, C. dixianus, C. flavidus, C. reicherti, (C. sandyi), C. tumidicornis, and C. celatus (Baier 1999).

  • Chrysops floridanus Johnson, 1913

    • Florida Record: Johnson 1913 (as C. vittatus var. floridanus), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Chrysops vittatus floridanus Johnson, 1913

    • Burger, 1995. Note on classification.

      • Note: Species pair with C. vittatus. Chrysops vittatus is thought to be an inland species and C. floridanus is thought to be a coastal species (Burger 1995).

  • Chrysops fuliginosus Wiedemann, 1821 (Suppl. Fig. 3)

    • Florida Record: Walker, 1848, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Chrysops plangens Wiedemann, 1828; Chrysops confusus Harris, 1835

      • Note: There is a larger inland variation of C. fuliginosus with distinct yellow abdominal markings. Ecology of the inland variation is unknown.

  • Chrysops fulvistigma Hine, 1904

  • Chrysops geminatus Wiedemann, 1828

  • Chrysops hinei Daecke, 1907 (Suppl. Fig. 4)

  • Chrysops hyalinus Shannon, 1924

    • Florida Record: Philip & Jones 1962

    • Synonymy: Chrysops vitripennis Shannon, 1916; Chrysops claripennis Krober, 1926

  • Chrysops ifasi Fairchild, 1978

  • Chrysops macquarti Philip, 1961

    • Florida Record: Philip 1961

    • Synonymy: Chrysops univittatus, authors, not Macquart Philip 1961. Note on classification, name change.

  • Chrysops moechus Osten Sacken, 1875

  • Chrysops montanus Osten Sacken, 1875 (Suppl. Table 2)

  • Chrysops niger Macquart, 1838

  • Chrysops nigribimbo Whitney, 1879

  • Chrysops obsoletus Wiedemann, 1821 (Suppl. Table 2)

  • Chrysops parvulus Daecke, 1907

    • Florida Record: Johnson 1913

      • Note: Species pair with C. dacne as noted in collections in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Department of Plant Industry, Gainesville, Florida.

  • Chrysops pikei Whitney, 1904

  • Chrysops pudicus Osten Sacken, 1875 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Fig. 5)

  • Chrysops reicherti Fairchild, 1937

  • (Chrysops sandyi Baier, 1999)

  • Chrysops tidwelli Philip & Jones, 1962

  • Chrysops tumidicornis Baier, 1999

  • Chrysops univittatus Macquart, 1855

    • Florida Record: Johnson & Coquillett 1895

    • Synonymy: Chrysops fraternus Kröber, 1926; Chrysops wiedemanni Kröber, 1926

  • Chrysops upsilon Philip, 1950

    • Florida Record: Fairchild 1978

    • Fairchild 1978. New record.

  • Chrysops vittatus Wiedemann, 1821 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Table 2; Suppl. Fig. 6)

  • Diachlorus ferrugatus (Fabricius), 1805 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Fig. 8)

    • Florida Record: Walker 1848 (as Chrysops approximans), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Diachlorus americanus Palisot de Beauvois, 1819; Diachlorus ataenia Macquart, 1838; Diachlorus approximans Walker, 1848

  • Haematopota punctulata (Macquart), 1838

    • Florida Record: Johnson & Coquillett 1895 (as H. americana; corrected by Johnson 1912), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Chrysozona punctulata (Macquart), 1838

  • Hamatabanus annularis (Hine), 1917

  • Hamatabanus carolinensis (Macquart), 1838

    • Florida Record: Philip 1947 (as H. scitus), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Hamatabanus scitus (Walker), 1848; Tabanus hirtioculatus Macquart, 1855; Tabanus cerastes Osten Sacken, 1876; Tabanus fraterna Kröber, 1931; Tabanus frater Kröber, 1934

  • Hamatabanus exilipalpis (Stone), 1938

    • Florida Record: Stone 1938 (as T. exilipalpis), FSCA

  • Hamatabanus floridensis (Hine), 1912

    • Florida Record: Hine 1912 (as T. floridensis), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Stenotabanus floridensis (Hine), 1912; Tabanus floridensis Hine

    • Burger 1995. Note on classification.

  • Hybomitra cincta (Fabricius), 1794

  • Hybomitra difficilis (Wiedemann), 1828

    • Florida Record: Philip 1961, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus carolinensis, authors, not Macquart; Tabanus difficilis (Wiedemann), 1828

  • Hybomitra hinei (Johnson), 1904

    • Florida Record: Stone 1938 (as T. hinei), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus politus Johnson, 1900; Tabanus hinei (Johnson), 1904; Hybomitra hinei wrighti (Whitney), 1915

    • Burger 1995. Note on classification.

  • Hybomitra trispila (Wiedemann), 1828 (Suppl. Table 2)

  • Leucotabanus annulatus (Say), 1823

    • Florida Record: Fairchild 1937 (as T. annulatus), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus annulatus (Say), 1823; Tabanus argenteus Wiedemann in Philip, 1950

  • Merycomyia microcera (Walker), 1848

    • Florida Record: Stone 1953 (as M. brunnea), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Merycomyia brunnea Stone, 1953

      • Note: Listed as a “Species of Concern”. Reviewed for threatened or endangered status by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission in 1994.

  • Merycomyia whitneyi (Johnson), 1904

  • Microtabanus pygmaeus (Williston), 1885

    • Florida Record: Williston 1885 (as T. pygmaeus), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus pygmaeus (Williston), 1885; Atylotus pygmaeus (Williston)

  • Stenotabanus (Aegialomyia) magnicallus (Stone) 1935

    • Florida Record: Tidwell 1973, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus magnicallus Stone, 1935; Tabanus maritimus Townsend, 1898; Tabanus nanus Macquart, 1846

  • Stenotabanus (Aegialomyia) psammophilus (Osten Sacken) 1876

    • Florida Record: Osten Sacken 1875 (as T. psammophilus), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus psammophilus Osten Sacken, 1876

  • Tabanus aar Philip, 1941

  • Tabanus abdominalis Fabricius, 1805

  • Tabanus acutus (Bigot), 1892

    • Florida Record: Fairchild 1937, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Atylotus acutus Bigot, 1892

  • Tabanus americanus Forster, 1771 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Table 2; Suppl. Fig. 9)

    • Florida Record: Walker 1848 (as T. ruficornis), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus plumbeus Drury, 1773; Tabanus ruficornis Fabrucius, 1775; Tabanus limbatus Palisot De Beauvois 1806

  • Tabanus aranti Hays, 1961

  • Tabanus atratus Fabricius, 1775 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Table 2; Suppl. Fig. 10)

    • Florida Record: Osten Sacken 1875, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus americanus Drury, 1773; Tabanus niger Palisot De Beauvois, 1806; Tabanus validus Wiedemann, 1828; Tabanus atratus nantuckensis Hine, 1917; Tabanus atratus fulvopilosis Johnson, 1919

    • Burger 1995. Note on classification

  • Tabanus birdiei Whitney, 1914

  • Tabanus bishoppi Stone, 1933

    • Florida Record: Stone 1935, FSCA(Tabanus calens Linnaeus, 1767)

    • Florida Record: Williston 1885 (as T. giganteus)

    • Synonymy: Tabanus giganteus De Geer, 1776; Tabanus lineatus Fabricius, 1781; Tabanus pallidus Palisot De Beauvois, 1809; Tabanus bicolor Macquart, 1847; Tabanus coesiofasciatus Macquart, 1855

      • Note: Williston (1885) and Johnson & Coquillett (1895) reported this species from an unknown location in Florida as T. giganteus. Stone (1938) also reported this species from Florida and Fairchild (1950) lists Florida within the range, but T. calens has not been recorded, because Burger (1995) does not consider Florida within the distribution range and there is much debate about the identification of the original T. giganteus specimens (Philip 1952b).

  • Tabanus cayensis Fairchild, 1935

  • Tabanus cheliopterus Rondani, 1850

  • Tabanus coarctatus Stone, 1935

  • Tabanus colon Thunberg, 1827

    • Florida Record: Fairchild 1937, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus nigrescens atripennis Stone, 1935

      • Note: Both names are still used in the literature, but refer to the same species.

  • Tabanus conterminus Walker, 1850

    • Florida Record: Johnson 1913, FSCA

      • Note: Fairchild & French (1999) note that T. nigrovittatus and T. conterminus will key out the same. In Florida, there likely is 1 or more undescribed species in this complex (Sutton & Carlson 1997) and one can realistically expect only to identify specimens to the T. nigrovittatus complex, not to species (B. D. Sutton, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of Plant Industry, unpublished data.)

  • (Tabanus cymatophorus Osten Sacken, 1876)

    • Florida Record: Johnson 1913

      • Note: Johnson (1913) notes specimens taken in Biscayne Bay and West Palm Beach, Florida. Müller caught 2 specimens near St. Augustine, Florida in the late 1990s (unpublished data). Burger (1995) lists the southern distribution of T. cymatophorus as Georgia.

  • Tabanus daedalus (Stone), 1938

  • Tabanus endymion Osten Sacken, 1878

  • (Tabanus equalis Hine, 1923) (Suppl. Table 2)

    • Synonymy: Tabanus uniformis Hine, 1917

  • Tabanus fairchildi Stone, 1938

    • Florida Record: Stone 1938

    • Synonymy: Tabanus vivax, authors, not Osten Sacken

  • Tabanus fronto Osten Sacken, 1876

  • Tabanus fulvilineis Philip, 1957

    • Florida Record: Philip 1957 (as T. nigrovittatus fulvilineis), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus nigrovittatus fulvilineis Philip, 1957

    • Burger 1995. Note on classification.

      • Note: Member of the Tabanus nigrovittatus complex. See note under T. nigrovittatus.

  • Tabanus fulvulus Wiedemann, 1828

  • Tabanus fumipennis Wiedemann, 1828 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Table 2; Suppl. Fig. 11)

  • (Tabanus fuscicostatus Hine, 1906) (Suppl. Table 2)

    • Florida Record: Pechuman 1949, FSCA

      • Note: The presence of T. fuscicostatus in Florida is still unclear. Several Florida specimens exist at the FSCA labeled T. fuscicostatus; however, a note left by Sandy Fairchild suggests that based on the dark femurs and dark costal cells, these were misidentifications and T. fuscicostatus does not have a Florida distribution.

  • Tabanus fusconervosus Macquart, 1838

  • Tabanus fuscopunctatus Macquart, 1850

    • Florida Record: Osten Sacken 1876, FSCA

  • Tabanus fuscopunctatus pechumani Philip, 1960

  • Tabanus gladiator Stone, 1935

  • Tabanus gracilis Wiedemann, 1828 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Table 2; Suppl. Fig. 12)

  • Tabanus hinellus Philip, 1960 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Fig. 13)

  • Tabanus imitans Walker, 1848

  • Tabanus johnsoni Hine, 1907 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Fig. 14)

  • Tabanus kisliuki Stone, 1935

  • Tabanus lineola complex Fabricius, 1794 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Table 2; Suppl. Fig. 15)

    • Florida Record: Walker, 1848, FSCA

      • Note: The T. lineola complex has extensive morphological variation and further work needs to be done on this group. Several variations and subspecies have been proposed, though the taxonomy is still cloudy. This species is thought to be the inland variation of T. hinellus.

  • (Tabanus limbatinevris Macquart, 1847)

  • Tabanus longiusculus Hine, 1907

  • Tabanus maculipennis Wiedemann, 1928

    • Florida Record: Stone 1938 (as T. imitans var. excessus), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus imitans var. excessus Stone, 1938

  • Tabanus melanocerus Wiedemann, 1828

    • Florida Record: Osten Sacken 1875, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus lacustris Stone, 1935; Tabanus melanocerus var. lacustris Stone, 1935

    • Burger 1995. Note on classification.

      • Note: Burger (1995) places T. melanocerus and T. melanocerus lacustris as a synonymous group under the name T. melanocerus. After studying several specimens, it should be noted there is a distinct spur on vein R4 in the former T. melanocerus lacustris that is clearly absent in T. melanocerus. Following Fairchild & French (1999), we are labeling lacustris as a variation of T. melanocerus.

  • Tabanus mixis Philip, 1950

  • Tabanus moderator Stone, 1938

  • Tabanus molestus Say, 1823

  • Tabanus mularis Stone, 1935 (Suppl. Table 2)

    • Florida Record: Stone 1935, FSCA

      • Note: Member of the Tabanus nigrovittatus complex. See note under T. nigrovittatus.

  • (Tabanus nefarius Hine, 1907)

  • (Tabanus nigrescens Palisot de Beauvois, 1809)

  • Tabanus nigrescens atripennis Stone, 1935

    • See Tabanus colon Thunberg, 1827

  • Tabanus nigripes Wiedemann, 1821 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Fig. 16)

    • Florida Record: Osten Sacken 1875 (as T. coffeatus), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus coffeatus Macquart, 1847; Tabanus winthemi Kröber, 1931

  • Tabanus nigrovittatus Macquart, 1847 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Table 2; Suppl. Fig. 17)

    • Florida Record: Johnson & Coquillett 1895, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus simulans Walker, 1848; Tabanus vicarious Walker, 1848 ex parte

      • Note: Tabanus nigrovittatus belongs to the T. nigrovittatus complex which contains several lined species. Fairchild & French (1999) note that T. nigrovittatus and T. conteminus will key out the same. Jones & Anthony (1964) list T. quinquevittatus as an inland Florida species, but note that some previous T. quinquevittatus specimens were misidentified and were actually T. nigrovittatus. Burger (1995) and Fairchild & French (1999) do not consider T. quinquevittatus sensu stricto to have a Florida distribution. In Florida, there likely is 1 or more undescribed species in this complex (Sutton & Carlson 1997) and one can realistically expect to identify specimens only to the T. nigrovittatus complex, not to species (B. D. Sutton, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of Plant Industry).

  • Tabanus pallidescens Philip, 1936 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Table 2; Suppl. Fig. 18)

    • Florida Record: Stone 1938 (as T. fulvulus var. pallidescens), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus fulvulus pallidescens Philip, 1936

  • Tabanus petiolatus Hine, 1917 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Fig. 19)

    • Florida Record: Fairchild 1937, FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus yulensus Philip, 1950

  • Tabanus proximus Walker, 1848

    • Florida Record: Walker 1848

    • Synonymy: Tabanus benedictus Whitney, 1904

  • Tabanus pumilus Macquart, 1838 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Fig. 20)

  • Tabanus quinquevittatus Wiedemann, 1821 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Fig. 21)

    • Florida Record: Osten Sacken 1875 (as T. costalis), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus baitimorensis Macquart, 1855; Tabanus costalis Wiedemann, 1828; Tabanus manifestus Walker, 1850; Tabanus vicarious Walker, 1848

      • Note: Member of the T. nigrovittatus complex. Jones & Anthony (1964) and Bargren (1961) list T. quinquevittatus as an inland Florida species, but Jones & Anthony (1964) note that some previous T. quinquevittatus specimens were misidentified and were actually T. nigrovittatus. Burger (1995) and Fairchild & French (1999) do not consider T. quinquevittatus sensu stricto to have a Florida distribution. In Florida, there likely is 1 or more undescribed species in this complex (Sutton & Carlson 1997) and one can realistically expect to identify specimens only to the T. nigrovittatus complex, not to species (B. D. Sutton, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of Plant Industry).

  • Tabanus reinwardtii Wiedemann, 1828

  • NEW RECORD

    • Florida Record: Cilek & Olson 1999 (unpublished). Four specimens were collected in a 2-tier box trap in Bay County, Florida, in 1999 by Jim Cilek and Mary Ann Olson. Specimens confirmed by J. F. Burger.

    • Synonymy: Tabanus erythrotelus Walker, 1850

  • Tabanus rufofrater Walker, 1850

    • Florida Record: Osten Sacken 1875 (as T. tener), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus unicolor Macquart, 1847; Tabanus lateritius Rondani, 1863; Tabanus tener Osten Sacken, 1876

  • (Tabanus sackeni Fairchild, 1934)

  • (Tabanus sagax Osten Sacken, 1876)

    • Synonymy: Atylotus baal Townsend, 1895; Tabanus dawsoni Philip, 1931

  • Tabanus sparus sparus Whitney, 1879

  • Tabanus sparus milleri Whitney, 1914 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Fig. 22)

  • Tabanus stygius Say, 1823

  • (Tabanus sublongus Stone, 1938)

  • Tabanus subsimilis Bellardi, 1859

    • Florida Record: Philip 1952a (as T. vittiger schwarti); originally recorded by Philip (1941), but Fairchild (1978) states it was most likely a misidentification. FSCA

    • Synonymy: Tabanus nippontucki Philip, 1942; Tabanus vittiger schwardti Philip, 1943

  • Tabanus sulcifrons Macquart, 1855 (Suppl. Table 2)

  • (Tabanus superjumentarius Whitney, 1879) (Suppl. Table 2)

  • (Tabanus texanus Hine, 1907)

  • Tabanus trijunctus Walker, 1854 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Fig. 23)

  • Tabanus trimaculatus Palisot De Beauvois, 1806

  • Tabanus turbidus Wiedemann, 1828

  • (Tabanus venustus Osten Sacken, 1876) (Suppl. Table 2)

  • Tabanus vittiger guatemalanus Hine, 1906

    • Florida Record: Fairchild 1978 (Florida forms of T. vittiger mentioned by Philip, 1957)

    • Synonymy: Tabanus bellardi Szilády, 1926; Tabanus appendiculatus Bequaert, 1940 (♀ only); Tabanus carneus Bequaert, 1940 (♀ only); Tabanus caymanicus Fairchild. 1942; Tabanus angustivitta Bequaert and Renjifo-Salcedo, 1946

  • Tabanus wiedemanni Osten Sacken, 1876

  • (Tabanus wilsoni Pechuman, 1962)

  • Tabanus yucatanus Townsend, 1897

  • NEW RECORD

    • Florida Record: Müller & Revay 2003 (unpublished). Two specimens were collected in a malaise trap in Cedar Key, Florida.

      • Note: Previously documented from the Yucatan Peninsula. The 2 Florida specimens are deposited in Col. G.C. Müller and in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Department of Plant Industry, Gainesville, Florida.

  • Tabanus zythicolor Philip, 1936 (Suppl. Table 1; Suppl. Fig. 24)

  • Whitneyomyia beatifica (Whitney), 1914

    • Florida Record: Whitney 1914 (as Tabanus beatificus), FSCA

    • Synonymy: Snowiellus styguis Enderlein, 1925; Tabanus ater Pallisot De Beauvois, 1811; Tabanus beatifica Whitney, 1914; Tabanus lugubris Macquart, 1838

  • Whitneyomyia beatifica var. atricorpus Philip, 1950

Discussion

PEST SPECIES

We have listed 24 tabanid pest species of Florida (Suppl. Table 1) with their respective locations, habitats, biting preferences, and additional notes. Data were compiled through literature and collection records; however, the majority of collections throughout the years have been based in North or Central Florida. Many previous Florida tabanid researchers were based out of North Florida universities and other institutions, and therefore sampling in North Florida was more feasible and cost effective. Very few collection records exist for South Florida, and therefore species data may be biased towards North/Central Florida. In the case of C. pudicus, C. flavidus, C. vittatus, and T. nigrovittatus, we have only included representatives of the species groups. Different species within the species groups may be dominant in different regions of the state or the USA.

DISEASE TRANSMISSION

Tabanids are competent disease vectors in many parts of the world. In Africa, Chrysops species are the primary vectors of Loa loa (Cobbold, 1864) (Spirurida: Onchocercidae) filariasis, and several tabanid species have been implicated in the mechanical transmission of African trypanosomiasis, commonly known as nagana (Krinsky 1976; Foil 1989). In North America, tabanids are considered minor disease vectors but have the potential to become a serious problem if conditions are right. Tularemia, after L. loa, is the second principal human disease vectored by tabanids (Minter 2009). In western states, tularemia is often referred to as “deer fly fever.” However, it is also spread through other means such as ticks and infected animal tissue, specifically rodents and rabbits (Jellison & Parker 1945; Hopla 1960; Cooney & Burgdorfer 1974). Interestingly, no cases of “deer fly fever” are reported from eastern states of the USA with a high incidence of tularemia, suggesting the principle tabanid vector is a western species, likely Chrysops discalis (Jellison 1950). Tularemia is a bacterial infection that causes flu-like symptoms in humans, often with the presence of a skin ulcer. In animals, infection can lead to death if untreated. Tularemia does not present with skin ulcers in animals, and is difficult to culture in the laboratory unless infection is suspected (Kahn 2005), wherefore detection in animals is difficult, but tularemia is not a major threat to the livestock industry in the USA. Although the suspected vector species are not present in Florida, Florida tabanids may be capable of disseminating the disease.

Anaplasmosis is a rickettsial infection that is common in livestock. In the USA, anaplasmosis is caused by Anaplasma marginale and mechanical transmission is the primary route of dissemination via flies (Foil 1989). Several species inhabiting or potentially inhabiting Florida have been found to be viable rickettsial vectors including T. sulcifrons, T. lineola, (T. fuscicostatus), T. mularis, and T. pallidescens (Lotze & Yiengist 1941; Hawkins et al. 1982). Symptoms in hoofstock include anemia, haematuria, diarrhea, and anorexia. If detected, anaplasmosis can be treated with antibiotics.

The 3rd bacterial disease of concern to livestock owners is infection with Bacillus anthracis, commonly called anthrax. Anthrax spores are incredibly resilient and can persist dormant in the environment for years. Cutaneous anthrax outbreaks in hoofstock are often attributed to tabanids (Foil 1989), and there is evidence that tabanids are capable of transmitting the infection to humans. Although anthrax is no longer a common disease in the USA, outbreaks are severe and can take down entire herds in short periods of time. Prior to a mass-produced vaccine in the 1950s, anthrax was a major concern for livestock producers throughout North America and still is a concern in wild animal populations throughout the USA (Blackburn et al. 2007), though primarily centered in the Midwest and western states.

A greater concern to Florida is the transmission of the equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) or “swamp fever.” This retrovirus is spread through mechanical transmission and is present worldwide. EIAV-capable Florida tabanid vectors include T. fuscicostatus and C. flavidus (Foil 1983; Issel et al. 1988). Often, infected horses do not exhibit symptoms of the disease but are still capable of transmission. When horses do exhibit symptoms, they often present with recurring fever, anemia, and swelling of the abdomen and legs, and EIAV may cause abortion in pregnant mares. In extreme cases, the disease can be fatal. Infection is persistent for life once contracted, and positive individuals should be quarantined from the herd (Kahn 2005).

Bovine leukemia virus is a retrovirus of cattle that causes malignant tumors of the lymph nodes. The virus can be transmitted by flies, specifically T. fuscicostatus (Foil 1989) but is also transmitted through infected milk consumed by calves. Sheep and goats serve as secondary hosts to the virus. Most infected cattle do not exhibit symptoms of the virus but are capable of transmission. The virus is usually fatal for those that do exhibit symptoms and affects multiple organs within the body leading to organ failure and cardiac arrest. Dairy cows are generally more susceptible than beef cattle, and cattle between 4 and 8 yr old are most commonly affected (Kahn 2005).

Hog cholera virus (classical swine fever) is a mechanically transmitted Pestivirus, a genus of viruses that belong to the family Flaviviridae. Viruses in the genus Pestivirus infect mammals, including members of the Bovidae and the Suidae. Hog cholera is endemic to Florida and the USA, and it can affect both domestic and feral hogs. Swine may contract acute or chronic forms of the virus, both of which cause poor reproductive performance. Swine with severe infection present with fever, depression, constipation followed by diarrhea and hemorrhaging under the skin. Survival with chronic infections is usually less than 30 d (Kahn 2005). The USA has experienced several outbreaks in the past leading to an eradication program starting in 1961. The United States Department of Agriculture declared a national emergency in 1972 after an especially widespread epidemic, and in 1978, the Secretary of Agriculture declared the USA hog cholera-free (Martin 1978). In Florida, farmers are still urged to watch for resurgence as feral hogs are widespread and difficult to keep away from farms. Florida tabanid species implicated in hog cholera transmission include T. lineola, T. quinquevittatus, T. americanus, T. molestus, and T. atratus (Tidwell et al. 1972; Foil 1989).

Several other parasites and diseases can be transmitted by tabanids, though usually tabanids are not the primary vector. Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) has been detected in bloodfed female tabanids, though the competence for transmitting the spirochetes is unknown. There have been reports of erythema migrans forming at the site of deer fly bites, but transmission studies have not been done (Magnarelli et al. 1986; Foil 1989). We have compiled a list of Florida tabanid species with known disease transmission capabilities, and associated pathogens (Suppl. Table 2) (Tidwell et al. 1972; Krinsky 1976; Magnarelli et al. 1986; Foil 1989). For a comprehensive review of potential transmittable agents, see Krinsky (1976) and Foil (1989).

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank staff at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of Plant Industry for the open use of the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, as well as help in locating specimens and literature in the collection archives. Thank you to Dr. John F. Burger for sending CMZN a personal copy of the Catalog of Tabanidae (Diptera) of North America North of Mexico. Thank you to Mr. Mark Dykes, Chief Apiary Inspector, Texas, and Dr. Larry Hribar, Research Director, Florida Keys Mosquito Control District for reviewing and editing this manuscript.

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Notes

[1] Supplementary material for this article in Florida Entomologist 98(2) (June 2015) is online at  http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/entomologist/browse

Catherine M. Zettel Nalen, Daniel L. Kline, Bruce D. Sutton, Günter Müller, and James E. Cilek "An Annotated Checklist of the Horse Flies, Deer Flies, and Yellow Flies (Diptera: Tabanidae) of Florida," Florida Entomologist 98(2), 479-488, (1 June 2015). https://doi.org/10.1653/024.098.0214
Published: 1 June 2015
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