Driving slowly along back dirt logging roads, many horse flies and deer flies always follow along hovering on and landing on my mirrors ... many, maybe 10 or 20 ... hard to say for sure. Thinking they would all attack me when I stopped and got out of my vehicle to look for various critters, I used to be quite wary. Not now really. Tony told me a few years back they thought the mirrors on my truck or car were the ears of a moose.

I soon noticed when I got out of the car these annoying flies mostly attacked my car or truck ... landing all over it. They seem to really like the tires. I'm thinking maybe they think those are the moose's legs. As long as I'm standing somewhat close to vehicle I'm pretty much not bothered by them.

The other day I took a few pics of one that landed on the tailgate of my truck. Some that have landed on my tires I have images of also but not so great so I'll try for better ones. I tried to ID this one on the tailgate using a great key written by Mr Anthony W. Thomas ... aka Tony.

I tried but I'm not real confident in what I came up with

Seen on the K Road near Ripples June 30 2018 .....

Atylotus woodi ... [Edit - ID'd by Tony below - Hybomitra trepida]

Tags: jd18f, tabaninae

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Replies to This Discussion

This species seems to be exceptionally common this year at Spednic Lake:

Hybomitra trepida, female

Thanks Tony ... I took a wrong turn. Thanks for the great key and ID!

Gail and I were in Spednic Lake PP Monday. Thats were they were landing all over the tires. Images I took were not great BUT going through your key I did learn a bit about what needs to be photographed ... such as good image of the frons for sure.

Well then...driving along dirt roads is easy...now I know how to find horseflies.   

Are you sure they won't bite me? ;)

They don't bite too often Nancy ... if you are standing next to a moose haha.

But, if you're out in a canoe, gardening or walking without a moose [please share standing with a moose , with image, if it ever happens] Deer Fly, Horsefly, etc WILL bite.

That is correct Jo. My comment should have contained a big if.  I suggest you not venture into Tabanidae territory without a moose escort. If you fail to be accompanied by a moose, here is what to expect ... and I quote from BG ... pretty scary!

"The bite is effected by stabbing with the mouthparts and slicing the skin with scissor-like movements of the finely serrate, knife-like mandibles and smaller maxillae. After capillaries are ruptured, anti-coagulant saliva is pumped out through the hypopharynx, and the blood is lapped up using the labella."

IF I get too many bites, I get short of breath.

OMG!!  That does it for me....I'm staying away from the horse flies!!  lol

Nancy, I can't stand their constant buzzing around my head, and they seem to only land on you once in awhile, but no matter if you get back in your vehicle and drive 1km down the road and get out....then again almost immediately there they are.  We can't escape the critters.  But it is like JD says, they love the mirrors of his truck and I thought he may have had a heat stroke a few years back when he first told me about them, but I got to see it first hand.  I think we watched a video on Youtube where this guy taped a blue (horse/deer flies attracted to the color blue so they say) plastic cup to his ball cap and put tanglefoot on it, and the horseflies were stuck all over it.  Then all you have to do is remove the cup and attach another or use a strip of duct tape and put the sticky stuff on it and peel it off at the end of the day, then add a new strip the next time your out and about.


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