Coloured SEM of Black fly, Simulium, mouthparts

Coloured SEM of Black fly, Simulium, mouthparts

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This image is part of the feature Parasites

Credit: EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Black fly. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of the mouthparts of a Black fly (buffalo gnat), Simulium sp. This parasitic insect uses the mouthparts to pierce skin so it can suck blood. Both sexes have these mouthparts, but only the females use them for piercing skin. The females' poisonous bite and blood-sucking habits cause irritation and sickness to humans, and serious injuries and fatalities to livestock. Certain species like Simulium damnosum in Africa transmit the filarial worm Onchocerca volvulus which causes river blindness. Black flies are distributed worldwide. Magnification: x180 at 6x6cm size.

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

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