Black Fly Simulium sp.

Simulium sp

This very tiny fly which I happened to find on my patio door is a Simulium. It is from a genus of black flies which are between 3 and 7mm (0.1 and 0.3in) long. Not to be confused with aphids, these are biting flies which suck blood, including human blood, and which can cause serious health problems in some countries. Also referred to as biting midges,Β  we can sometimes get plagues of them over here in the summer. It is the female that bites, and after feeding she will lay her eggs in water where the larvae will hatch. They are usually found where there is permanent or semi-permanent running water like streams and rivers. This is mostly likely a male with the larger holoptic eyes. There are several species in Britain, so it is hard to pin down the exact one without microscopic scrutiny.


September 2017, Staffordshire, England.

26 thoughts on “Black Fly Simulium sp.

  1. Never seen any of the biting types this close up before. It surely has a thin abdominal area… Guess he is biting because he’s hungry then… Lol. Glad no-one was bitten during this session….

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    • I could hardly tell it was a fly it was so small until I got close with my lens. I couldn’t believe what an odd-looking fly it was! Yes, I am glad I was not bitten πŸ™‚

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  2. Pete, how marvellous that you capture these minute creatures that many of us would never notice or see in such detail. It’s a real eye opener. Not to mention fabulous photography 😊

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    • You are really kind, Diana, thank you πŸ™‚ Despite all that I have seen and photographed, I still am like a little kind when I see new things and get quite excited πŸ™‚ It’s a kind of magic I hope never dies πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you, Ark πŸ™‚ I use a Sigma 105mm macro lens, but because this fly was too small, even for a macro lens, I clipped a Raynox DCR-250 conversion lens to the end of my macro which got me a wee bit closer.

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      • Good grief! You had that much time to attach a converter, too?
        Did you let the fly get drunk on your Johnny Walker first that it sat still for so long?
        πŸ™‚

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      • Lol! Thankfully the convertor was at hand, and it only clips on in a matter of seconds. It takes longer to get it out of the box. I should have given the fly a few more shots of Johnny Walker for I only managed to get a few shots in before I disturbed it.

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  3. Great pic, but have recently been bitten by one of these bad boys (or girls) and am now on a sort of steroid/antibiotic cream to deal with the fall-out. So not a fan of bitey flies and gnats.

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    • Thank you, Jill πŸ™‚ Sorry to here you have been bitten. I always get bit by gnats, always in the same place on the same left leg. They never seem to heal, but I am giving them a run of the steroid cream. So me no fan either πŸ™‚

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