Jump to: navigation, search

Hippobosca equina

Template:Taxobox title
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Section: Schizophora
Subsection: Calyptratae
Superfamily: Hippoboscoidea
Family: Hippoboscidae
Genus: Hippobosca
Species: H. equina
Binomial name
Hippobosca equina
Linnaeus, 1758

Hippobosca equina, or the Forest fly, is a fly from the family Hippoboscidae. They are blood-feeding ectoparasites of horses, and sometimes cattle.[2][3]. It is a permanently fully winged fly, not shedding its wings on finding its host, as in some other Hippoboscidae. this means it may leave its host to deposit its larvae.[4] They are good fliers.[1]



Wing length 6-8.5mm..[1]


The primary distribution is in Europe and Parts of Asia and Africa. It has been introduced to other locations, though in some cases latter eradicated by modern husbandry practices. [5]. In the UK they are know primarily from the New Forest and increasingly from South Devon. There are occasionally recorded from other part of the UK, though some reports as far north as the Scottish borders are considered dubious.[3]In the UK their flight period is from May to October, but peaking August and early September. [4]


The primary host are equines, they are ofter also frequently found on cattle on which they are able to maintain a population. They have been know to bite a number of other mammals, including sheep, goats, and sometimes humans,[6] Other mammals it may also live on are Red Deer, Camel, Rabbit and on birds, the Grey Heron, and the Northern Goshawk. They have been feed and bred on Guinea pigs in the laboratory.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J. Beguaert (1930). "Notes on Hippoboscidæ". Psyche (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge Entomological Club) 32 (6): 266–277pp. http://psyche.entclub.org/pdf/32/32-266.pdf. 
  2. Colyer, C.N. & Hamond, C.O. (1951). Flies of the British Isles. The Wayside and Woodland Series (2nd ed.). London: Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd. pp. 384. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Turner, C.R. & Mann, D.J. (2005). "Recent Observations on Hippobosca equina L. (Dipter:Hippoboscidae) in South Devon". British Journal of Entomology and Natural History (British of Entomological and Natural History Society) 18 (1): 37–40. ISSN 0952-7583. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Hutson, A.M (1984). Diptera: Keds, flat-flies & bat-flies (Hippoboscidae & Nycteribiidae). Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects. 10 pt 7. Royal Entomological Society of London. pp. 84 pp. 
  5. "Hippobosca equina Linnaeus". CSIRO Entomology. 2004. http://www.ento.csiro.au/aicn/system/c_1203.htm. 
  6. Richard Wall, David Shearer (1997). Veterinary Entomology: Arthropod Ectoparasites of Veterinary Importance. Springer,. pp. 439. ISBN 041261510X. 


Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...