Macrophotograph of a horsefly head, Tabanus sp.

Macrophotograph of a horsefly head, Tabanus sp.

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Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Horsefly head. Macrophotograph of the head of a horsefly, Tabanus sp. Positioned on the side of the head are two large compound eyes (green) made up of many facets (ommatidia) which together are sensitive in detecting movement. A simple eye or ocellus (black) can be seen between the compound eyes, and there is a smaller ocellus above it on the forehead; ocelli can detect light, dark and shadows. Horseflies feed on the blood of warm- blooded animals such as cattle and horses, and their mouthparts (lower centre) are capable of piercing tough and thick skin. Some species of Tabanus suck the blood of humans.

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Keywords: animal, compound eye, head, horsefly, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, tabanus, wildlife, zoology

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