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  • Deer Fly - (Chrysops vittatus)

    Deer Fly - (Chrysops vittatus)

    Female Deer Flies are a biting nuisance to people and livestock, and very well any warm-blooded animal it comes across.

    Picture of Deer Fly
    Staff Writer (8/4/2017): Though physically smaller than the related Horse Fly, Deer Flies still pack a painful bite and their irksome presence can make it miserable to spend time outdoors. Bites are not lethal, just annoying. Welts will heal on their own, but ice may help alleviate some symptoms like swelling and pain. This species is orange with three black stripes on the thorax and four thinner black lines on the abdomen. Females feed on blood. Males do not drink blood and instead take nectar from flowers. Deer are the typical host for this fly, but in the absence of them, Deer Fly females will take a blood meal from anything or anyone.

    Females lay fertilized eggs in or around water and larvae eat the blood meal as well as aquatic insects. As they grow, larvae remain near or in water (puddles, troughs, ponds, etc.). Adults can be found anywhere, especially areas where deer are known to roam. It is difficult to move them from areas they hunt in, like beaches and patios.

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    Details of the:
    Deer Fly

    Category: Fly or Mosquito
    Common name: Deer Fly
    Scientific Name: Chrysops vittatus

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Diptera
          Family: Tabanidae
           Genus: Chrysops
            Species: vittatus

    Size (Adult, Length): 10mm to 12mm (0.39in to 0.47in)

    Identifying Colors: orange, black

    Additional Descriptors: biting, bleeding, painful, large, buzz, flying

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska;New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; British Columbia; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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