The Country Diary of a GenX Woman

March Flies in February

20130203 006The March flies Tabanidae Diptera are out in force already.  I haven’t been bitten yet this year, but have been regularly dancing around in the forest swatting at them as they land.  They often go for my boots and are quite easy to get once they land.  They are attracted to dark colours and poor Shorty will often have a couple trying to bite her at the same time.   The Australian Museum site is accurate when it says “March flies are ferocious biters.”

Only the female march flies bite as they need blood to produce the next generation.  They use their strong, piercing mouthparts to extract blood from mammals.  Males have larger metallic green eyes and feed on nectar acting as important pollinators.  This one was biting a guest on the property, so must be female but it had pretty big green eyes too.   March flies feed on Marri blossom and their numbers are in proportion to the amount of blossom around.  Judging by the numbers this year, we must have a lot of  Marri blossom which hopefully means lots of nuts and food for the black cockatoos.

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Inspired by The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady