Coloured SEM of a Black Fly, Simulium sp.

Coloured SEM of a Black Fly, Simulium sp.

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This image is part of the feature Body Parasites

Credit: DAVID SCHARF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Black fly. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a Black fly, Simulium sp. (family: Simuliidae). Also known as the buffalo-gnat. It is a parasitic, blood-sucking insect closely related to mosquitoes. The head possesses two compound eyes (red), short segmented antennae (at top) and skin piercing mouthparts. Their poisonous bites and blood-sucking habits cause irritation and sickness to humans, and serious injury (with fatalities) to cattle and horses. Certain species like Simulium damnosum in Africa transmit the filarial worm Onchocerca volvulus which causes river blindness. Black flies are distributed worldwide. Magnification: x20 at 6x6cm size. x30 at 4x4"

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Keywords: animal, black fly, buffalo gnat, compound eye, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, pest, poisonous bite, scanning electron micrograph, sem, simulium sp., wildlife, zoology

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