I’m afraid…

… to open my car door when I go to the Crossfit gym.

The field by the parking lot is swarming with deer flies (genus Chrysops, family Tabanidae). This morning when I pulled in, ten of these angry beasts landed on the windshield, determined to get to me.

Now, I can appreciate them as well as any other insect. They are beautiful, complex creatures with a vital role in the ecosystem. But there is something maddening about giant buzzing flies which pummel into you at full speed, bouncing off your forehead and crawling in your ears, which could bite you with their steak-knife-like mouthparts at any moment. Especially when there are dozens of them following you around.

Welcome to summer.

Posted on June 7, 2012, in Diptera, Invertebrates. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Working in the deep woods of northern Maine in ’69-’71, deer flies and blackflies were brutal. Army-issue 70% Deet repellent didn’t stop them but… wearing a reflective aluminum hard hat coated in salad oil worked great: flies were attracted by the infrared and trapped in the oil. Every hour or so, we wiped the bugs out of the oil; after several hours we added more oil. At our camp, we hung black balloons outside, also coated with oil.

  1. Pingback: The Weekly Flypaper » Biodiversity in Focus Blog

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Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology, Sensory Biology, Behavior, Biomechanics

I spell it nature

Trying to make sense of the world through science and language.

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