169. The fastest flying!


Horse fly, also known as forest fly and deer fly, is the fastest flying insect. It can be 30 to 60 m.m long. It weighs a mere 12 milligrams and can fly at the speed of 90 m.p.h!

It is a pest since it inflicts bleeding wounds. It is noisy during flight. About 3000 species are known to exist . They are important pollinators in South Africa.

The fly feeds on nectar and pollen. Female fly needs a meal of blood for reproduction. Females feed on the blood of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles.The male fly lacks the mouth parts to feed on blood.

The bite of the fly is very painful. Unlike the other insects which puncture the skin with needle like organs, this fly has tiny serrated mandibles which they use to rip open the flesh of the victim.

Blood loss is very common in animals where large flies are abundant. Some mammals may lose up to 300 m.l. of blood which may result in severe weakness and even death.

The bites become itchy and cause swelling, if not treated. Horsefly wasps, sand wasps and birds are the predators. Horsefly bites can transfer diseases and parasites and spread Anthrax among cattle and sheep.

Visalakshi Ramani

4 Responses to 169. The fastest flying!

  1. Fabulous, what a webpage it is! This web site gives valuable
    facts to us, keep it up.

  2. I’m writing an essay about farm animals, I am familiar with draft horses. They have to stand waiting for instructions to move and the horse flies were a menace to their patience.

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