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March fly


March Fly

14/11/2018 Female

Scientific Name: Family – Tabinidae

Where in yard? Only seen once on unidentified weed.

Observation: Good photo subject as was very still and spectacular eye colours. Photos taken after a shower of rain. Although I’m glad this is a rare sighting around here as those stout mouth parts (pictured) on the female March fly are meant for biting and sucking blood. My son is still traumatised from a summer bushwalk in Victoria many years ago. We were swamped by a swarm of persistent march flies capable of biting through t-shirts.

Fun Fact : March flies are also called Horse flies arising from the fact that they may cause horses real discomfort. But horses and humans are not their only victims – other mammals, birds and even reptiles can be bitten. Females are the biters needing the protein from blood to develop their eggs. They use stabbing mouth parts to pierce the skin then a sponge-like mouth part to lap up the blood. March flies mainly feed on nectar and some species are not blood-suckers at all.

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