Coloured SEM of a Black fly (buffalo gnat) flying

Coloured SEM of a Black fly (buffalo gnat) flying

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Credit: MANFRED KAGE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Black fly. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph of a Black fly, Simulium sp., in flight; (family: Simuliidae). Also known as the buffalo gnat, this is a parasitic, blood-sucking insect closely related to mosquitoes. The head possesses two compound eyes (orange), short segmented antennae (blue) and skin-piercing mouthparts. Its poisonous bite 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: x19 at 6x7cm size.

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

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