Tag Archives: Thomas Shahan

The Oft Misunderstood Male Horsefly, and other crawly/jumpy barn dwellers by Thomas Shahan…






OK, maybe I’m stretching things a bit to speak about a horse fly.   But I think we, as horse owners, have to put up with them…  so I may as well write about them.

The benign male horsefly...

However, since I try to spin everything in the most positive manner possible, today we are going to wax lyrically about the MALE horsefly only.  The female horsefly isn’t so wonderful.

It is the female who bites.  It is the female who lays the eggs.  It is the female who buzzes around your green horse like a DC-10, sending him into the “OMG that thing is gonna land on meeeeeeee!” hysteria.  Yup. the female of the species is kinda pesky, to put it lightly.  She is the one with all the bad qualities.  She is the one who gives the horsefly its bad reputation.  Luckily, though, there is a particular kind of wasp that delights in fine, fresh female horsefly flesh.  So, at least there is that to think about next time Helga the Horsefly comes a buzzin’…

Vampira, female horsefly, with her slicing mandibles.

Let’s get back to the male.  He is a lovely and somewhat dull creature.  All he does is fly from flower to flower.  Since his body is large, he can spread the good stuff around easily therefore he is a very important part of pollenization — although he might not know this.  .

Amazing Walking Stick Video

Yup, the male just flies around eating nectar and bits of pollen while he unconsciously dumps pollen pieces all about.  He’s your regular, non-invasive kind of insect.  Too bad he has to be associated with the female of his species…

You see, the female is the only one with the scissor chopper front leg things.  Only a female can slice into your skin or your mount’s skin.  She is the relentless, buzzing witch that drives your horse crazy.  But, luckily, her bite is generally not bad for you, it just HURTS.  (Sadly, female horse flies have been known to take down small animals by swarming and sucking…)  Owweeee.   Vampira lives inside the female horsefly but ONLY the female.  And that is my point here…  I mean, I KNOW that I combine all horseflies into my “Get out of here NOW” rant category when one dive bombs me or my horse.  I don’t distinguish gender.  But, I should…

Common jumping barn spider video with macro - cool!

Today, in honor of the misunderstood and maligned male horsefly, I am posting the micro images of these wonderful insects for you to admire.

These incredible photos were taken my my favorite bug photographer, Thomas Shahan.  (Here is a link)  I find myself really drawn to his work.  Really.  I’m astounded by the beautiful color and structure of all the insects he has photographed.  Don’t get me wrong.

anything crawling on me or to find any type of bug in my bed… but when I look at these photos, I get wide-eyed with amazement.  It makes me look at insects a bit differently — if only for the instant before I scream and get the bug relocation contraption I have sitting on my desk.

This is a Robber Fly... I just thought it was pretty so I added it here.

(I put them all back outside with a scolding…)  My point is, if there is a God who created bugs, including horseflies, his brush was very small and his eye was discerning.  Insects, evven the horsefly, are fantastic to view through Shahan’s macrocamera.

And, just for fun, I’ve posted two You Tube movies that Thomas shot using his micro lens.  One is of a small jumping spider and the other is of a Walking Stick bug.  These were fascinating in an oogey way.  I showed them to bugophobic Hubby and he was glued to the computer screen.

So, please humor me this foray into the horsefly and other beautiful bugs.  I appreciate it.

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Saturday is Pho-blog Day! A Snowy Horsey Roll, A Baby Wombat and Bugs You Won’t Believe!






1)  This is a picture of my friend’s deaf horse.  He was rolling in the snow and then just stopped in this position.  Have you ever seen such a thing?  I thought it was hilarious!

2)  This is a baby wombat.  It was rescued from it’s dying mother and is being raised in Australia.  It looks like it is waving.

3)  These photos are so incredible, I just had to post them.  This genius photographer, Thomas Shahan, has figured out a way to photograph real bugs.  These are flies and spiders.  Incredible.  Now we can appreciate these little insects a bit more when we see how gorgeous they really are! Here is his website to see more.  i think he should make a coffee table book.  What a conversation piece, eh?!  The fifth one is a male striped HORSE FLY!  I just think these shots are amazing!

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Your purchase with Riding Warehouse through this link helps the Bucket Fund!


Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!