Fossil Diptera Catalog -- Web Version

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Tabanids are a cosmopolitan family of usually medium to large-sized Diptera, commonly known as horse or deer flies. Females of extant forms are blood feeders and obtain their meals from a variety of vertebrate hosts. Males feed on nectar and pollen. Larvae are found in a variety of terrestrial to semi-aquatic habitats, usually in sand or soil of varying wetness where they are known to prey on other invertebrates.

The oldest named fossil tabanid is a species of Tabanus from the Eocene/ Oligocene deposits of the Isle of Wight described by Cockerell (1921c). The species of Haematopota described by Stuckenberg (1975) as from Baltic amber has been shown by Lewis et al. (1977) to actually be a copal inclusion from an unknown locality in Africa. An older undetermined compression fossil of Tabanidae from the Middle Jurassic Mont-Saint-Marin deposit in Luxemburg was noted by Maurice (1882). There are Cretaceous genera described by Kovalev (1986) from Mongolia, but are treated in this catalog as unplaced in Tabanoidea.

In addition to the described forms listed below, Scudder (1895: 121) recorded a possible new genus and species of tabanid from the Miocene Oeningen deposits of Switzerland. Undescribed Tabanidae have been noted from the Eocene of the Green River Formation (Bradley, 1931; Swanson & Lewis, 1993), which would make them the oldest representatives of this family from the North American continent.

The Cretaceous genus Protabanus, described by Hong (1982) has been shown by Grimaldi (1990) and Zhang (1993b) to belong to the order Homoptera, where it has been placed in the cicadoid family Tettigarctidae by Hamilton (1992: 429) in his catalog of Mesozoic Homoptera genera.
Ref.: Moucha (1972, review of fossil taxa); Leclerque (1989, list of fossil taxa).

Genus AEMODIPSUS Maneval

AEMODIPSUS Aymard, 1856: 42. Nomen nudum.
AEMODIPSUS Maneval, 1936: 35. Type species: Aemodipsus bornensis Maneval, 1936, by monotypy.
bornensis Maneval, 1936: 35. PA: France (Oligocene) [C].
bornensis Aymard, 1856: 42 (Aemodipsus). Nomen nudum.

Genus CHRYSOPS Meigen

*CHRYSOPS Meigen, 1803: 267. Type species: Tabanus caecutiens Linnaeus, 1758, by monotypy.
seguyi Piton, 1940: 215. PA: France (Oligocene) [C].


*HAEMATOPOTA Meigen, 1803: 267. Type species: Tabanus pluvialis Linnaeus, 1758, by monotypy.
pinicola Stuckenberg, 1975: 460. PA: Baltic Region (Eocene/Oligocene) [A] [error, = AF: Unknown (Pleistocene)] [K].

Genus HEPTATOMA Meigen

*HEPTATOMA Meigen, 1803: 226. Type species: Heptatoma bimaculata Meigen, 1804 [= Tabanus pellucens Fabricius, 1776], by subsequent monotypy in Meigen (1804: 156).
[Heptatoma originally proposed without named species. The bibliographic reference "Tabanus Schaeff. Icon. Tab. 72. fig. 6­p;8" does not constitute inclusion of a nominal species according to I.C.Z.N. Code Article 69(a)(i)(2).]
*HEXATOMA Meigen, 1820: 83. Type species: Heptatoma bimaculata Meigen, 1804 [= Tabanus pellucens Fabricius, 1776], by monotypy. [Preoccupied by Latreille, 1809.]
oeningensis Heer, 1864: 394 (Hexatoma). PA: Switzerland (Oligocene) [C]. New combination.

Genus SILVIUS Meigen

*SILVIUS Meigen, 1820: 27. Type species: Tabanus vituli Fabricius, 1805 [= Tabanus alpinus Scopoli, 1763], by monotypy.
merychippi Melander, 1947: 43. NE: USA (Oligocene) [C].


*STENOTABANUS Lutz, 1913: 487. Type species: Tabanus taeniotes Wiedemann, 1828, by subsequent monotypy in Lutz & Neiva (1914: 73).
brodzinskyi Lane, Poinar & Fairchild, 1988: 594. NT: Dominican Republic (Oligocene/Miocene) [A].
woodruffi Fairchild & Lane, 1989: 630. NT: Dominican Republic (Oligocene/ Miocene) [A].

Genus TABANUS Linnaeus

*TABANUS Linnaeus, 1758: 601. Type species: Tabanus bovinus Linnaeus, 1758, by subsequent designation of Latreille (1810: 443).
hipparionis Cockerell, 1909c: 67. NE: USA (Oligocene) [C].
merychippi Cockerell, 1916c: 96. NE: USA (Oligocene) [C].
parahippi Cockerell, 1909c: 67. NE: USA (Oligocene) [C].
statzi Moucha, 1972: 28 (new replacement name for fulvescens Statz). PA: Germany (Oligocene) [C].
fulvescens Statz, 1940: 130. PA: Germany (Oligocene) [C]. [Preoccupied by Walker, 1848.]
*sudeticus Zeller, 1842: 815. PA: Poland; Europe, North Africa, Morocco; PA: Germany (Pliocene) [C].
ssp. fossilis Grabenhorst, 1985: 325. PA: Germany (Pliocene) [C].
vectensis Cockerell, 1921c: 472 (Chrysops). PA: UK (England) (Eocene/Oligocene) [C].

Unplaced Species of TABANIDAE

laticornis Meunier, 1902d: 396 (Silvius). PA: Baltic Region (Eocene/Oligocene) [A].
laticornis Loew, 1850b: 40 (Silvius). Nomen nudum.

This page last revised 15 September 1996