black fly

black fly
any of the minute, black gnats of the dipterous family Simuliidae, having aquatic larvae. Also called buffalo gnat.
[1600-10]

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insect
also called  buffalo gnat , or  turkey gnat 
 any member of a family of about 1,800 species of small, humpbacked flies in the order Diptera. Black flies are usually black or dark gray, with gauzy wings, stout antennae and legs, and rather short mouthparts that are adapted for sucking blood. Only females bite and are sometimes so abundant that they may kill chickens, birds, and other domestic animals. Some species carry parasites capable of causing onchocerciasis, which may result in blindness or in nodules beneath the skin. The larvae and pupae live in flowing water. When fully developed the adult frees itself from its pupal case, rises to the water surface on a bubble of air, and flies away.

      In the spring along the Mississippi River, Cnephia pecuarum is a serious livestock pest. There are records of this species killing horses and mules either with bloodsucking bites or by smothering, which may occur when the animals' nostrils become blocked by large numbers of black flies. Also appearing in the spring is Simulium meridionale, which attacks bird combs and wattles. Repellents and grease or oil smears are used for protection.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Black fly — Fly Fly, n.; pl. {Flies} (fl[imac]z). [OE. flie, flege, AS. fl[=y]ge, fle[ o]ge, fr. fle[ o]gan to fly; akin to D. vlieg, OHG. flioga, G. fliege, Icel. & Sw. fluga, Dan. flue. [root] 84. See {Fly}, v. i.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) Any winged insect; esp …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • black fly — lack fly, blackfly lackfly, (Zo[ o]l.) 1. In the United States, a small, venomous, two winged fly of the genus {Simulium} of several species, exceedingly abundant and troublesome in the northern forests; called also {buffalo gnat}. The larv[ae] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • black fly — black′ fly or black′fly , n. ent any of various black biting gnats, of the family Simuliidae, that deposit their eggs in forest streams and are aquatic as larvae • Etymology: 1600–10 …   From formal English to slang

  • black fly — ☆ black fly n. any of a family (Simuliidae) of small, dark, dipterous flies of North American forests and mountains, whose larvae live attached to rocks in swift water: most species live on the blood of mammals and may transmit disease …   English World dictionary

  • Black fly — Taxobox name = Black fly image width = 200px image caption = Simulium yahense regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda subphylum = Hexapoda classis = Insecta subclassis = Pterygota infraclassis = Neoptera superordo = Endopterygota| ordo = Diptera… …   Wikipedia

  • black fly — n. insect that invades plants; gnat; small (somewhat black) biting fly with a sturdy body that has aquatic larvae and sucks the blood of birds and humans and other mammals …   English contemporary dictionary

  • black·fly — /ˈblækˌflaı/ noun, pl flies or fly [count] : a small fly that bites …   Useful english dictionary

  • black fly — noun small blackish stout bodied biting fly having aquatic larvae; sucks the blood of birds as well as humans and other mammals • Syn: ↑blackfly, ↑buffalo gnat • Hypernyms: ↑gnat • Member Holonyms: ↑Simulium, ↑genus Simulium …   Useful english dictionary

  • black fly — a small widely distributed bloodsucking insect of the genus Simulium. Black flies are also known as buffalo gnats from their humpbacked appearance. Female flies can inflict painful bites and constitute a serious pest at certain times of the year …   Medical dictionary

  • black fly — a small widely distributed bloodsucking insect of the genus Simulium. Black flies are also known as buffalo gnats from their humpbacked appearance. Female flies can inflict painful bites and constitute a serious pest at certain times of the year …   The new mediacal dictionary

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