Macrophotograph of the head of a horsefly

Macrophotograph of the head of a horsefly

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Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Head of a horsefly. Macrophotograph of the head and biting mouthparts of the horsefly, Chrysozona pluvialis. The large compound eyes occupy much of the head; the vivid colouring of each eye is produced by light interference patterns on their surface. Horseflies feed on the blood of warm- blooded animals, relying on sight and powerful mouthparts for this activity. Black piercing mandibles are seen on the head between the eyes; the horsefly also secretes a saliva that prevents blood from clotting. Although humans can be bitten painfully by some species of horsefly, it is cattle and horses that suffer most.

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Keywords: animal, chrysozona, chrysozona pluvialis, compound eye, head, horsefly, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, mouthparts, nature, wildlife, zoology

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