Usually in encounter them on the creek and getting about 20 feet from their territory gets them off my case. Not so this time as it followed me for several hundred yards through the woods, constantly buzzing and when silent it had landed and was biting through my sweat soaked tee-shirt.
|Horse Fly - REK|
In the last blog I said we were "Blood Brothers" but not exactly, more like blood siblings. Only the female bites, acquiring blood as a high-protein food needed for egg production. I would happily take out a hard boiled egg or even a piece of last nights beef dinner for her but she is very specialized and wants only mammal blood. Horse, deer or me, it makes little difference to her.
|"The better to bite you with, my dear!" - REK|
I have to admit that after my experience on the trail it gave me great pleasure to pin this Horse Fly for the upcoming Master Naturalist training where we will be using it for insect taxonomy. It is not about revenge.....OK, maybe a little.
"The bite is effected by stabbing with the mouth parts and slicing the skin with scissor-like movements of the finely serrate, knife-like mandibles and smaller maxillae. After capillaries are ruptured, anti-coagulant saliva is pumped out through the hypopharynx, and the blood is lapped up using the labella." from Bugguide
Wikipedia with annotations
Horse Fly in Wikipedia
More on the Tabanidae Family, commonly known as horse flies, and deer flies