horsefly

horsefly
horsefly [hôrs′flī΄]
n.
pl. horsefliesME hors fleege
1. any of a number of large dipterous flies (family Tabanidae), the female of which sucks the blood of horses, cattle, etc.
2. any of various other dipterous flies that bite or infest horses, esp. any of a family (Gasterophilidae) of botflies

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horse·fly also horse fly (hôrsʹflī') n.
Any of numerous large flies of the family Tabanidae, the females of which suck the blood of various mammals.

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Any member of the dipteran genus Tabanus or, more generally, of the family Tabanidae.

These stout flies range from as small as a housefly to as large as a bumblebee. Sometimes called greenheaded monsters, horseflies have metallic or iridescent eyes. Adults are fast, strong fliers usually found around streams, marshes, and wooded areas. They may carry animal diseases, including anthrax, tularemia, and trypanosomiasis. The bites of the bloodsucking females can be painful, and a swarm may suck more than 3 oz (about 90 ml) of blood a day from an animal. Males feed on nectar, honeydew, and plant sap. Horseflies of the genus Chrysops, usually called deerflies, are smaller and have dark markings on the wings.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Horsefly — Horse fly , n.; pl. {Horseflies}. 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any dipterous fly of the family {Tabanid[ae]}, that stings horses, and sucks their blood. [1913 Webster] Note: Of these flies there are numerous species, both in Europe and America. They have a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • horsefly — (n.) late 14c., from HORSE (Cf. horse) (n.) + FLY (Cf. fly) (n.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • horsefly — ► NOUN ▪ a large fly that inflicts painful bites on horses and other large mammals …   English terms dictionary

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  • horsefly — UK [ˈhɔː(r)sˌflaɪ] / US [ˈhɔrsˌflaɪ] noun [countable] Word forms horsefly : singular horsefly plural horseflies a large flying insect that bites horses, cows, and other large animals …   English dictionary

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