The effect of weather variables on the flight activity of horseflies (Diptera: Tabanidae) in the continental climate of Hungary

Tamás Herczeg, Dénes Száz, Miklós Blahó, András Barta, Mónika Gyurkovszky, Róbert Farkas, Gábor Horváth

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Although the tabanid species and populations occurring in eastern central Europe (Carpathian Basin) are thoroughly studied, there are only sporadic data about the influence of weather conditions on the abundance and activity of horseflies. To fill in this lack, in Hungary, we performed a 3-month summer survey of horsefly catches registering the weather parameters. Using common canopy traps and polarization liquid traps, we found the following: (i) rainfall, air temperature, and sunshine were the three most important factors influencing the trapping number of tabanids. (ii) The effect of relative air humidity H on tabanids was indirect through the air temperature T: H ≈ 35 % (corresponding to T ≈ 32 °C) was optimal for tabanid trapping, and tabanids were not captured for H ≥ 80 % (corresponding to T ≤ 18 °C). (iii) A fast decrease in the air pressure enhanced the trapping number of both water-seeking and host-seeking horseflies. (iv) Wind velocities larger than 10 km/h reduced drastically the number of trapped tabanids. Our data presented here may serve as a reference for further investigations of the effect of climate change on tabanids in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1087-1097
Number of pages11
JournalParasitology research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 21 2015



  • Air pressure
  • Horsefly
  • Host finding
  • Humidity
  • Light polarization
  • Polarotaxis
  • Tabanid fly
  • Tabanid trap
  • Temperature
  • Water seeking
  • Weather variables
  • Wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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