March Flies

March Flies, AustraliaAustralian biting flies such as March Flies belong to the Family Tabanidae. Unlike other biting flies throughout the world, Australian biting flies do not transmit diseases to humans. They do however administer a painful bite and can be downright annoying. The March Fly is also known as the Horse Fly and they are widespread throughout the warmer areas of Australia.There are over 240 species of these stocky built flies. The March Fly has two large prominent eyes that often reflect iridescent colours. The eyes of a male March fly always meet in the middle. The males feed only on nectar but the females are blood suckers. The female has a well developed proboscis with two blade-like mouthparts that are used to penetrate the skin of both humans and animals. They are particular aggressive to humans in the summer months and will leave a large puncture mark if bitten. As the blood flows from the puncture wound the fly will lap up the blood, unless it is disturbed. Animals, especially horses and cattle, can loose up to 300ml of blood a day due to March fly attacks. The March Fly larvae mostly live in fresh water or damp soil. The larvae are carnivorous and feed on insects and snails. One saving grace about these nasty biters is the adult March fly lives for only 3 to 4 weeks.