Animal Species:March flies

March flies are ferocious biters.

Standard Common Name

March flies

Alternative Name/s

Horse flies, Green heads

Size range

3 cm

Distribution

March flies are found throughout Australia.

Habitat

March flies live around freshwater creeks, intertidal estuaries and mangroves.

Feeding and Diet

As with most biting flies, it is only the female march flies that bite as they need blood to produce the next generation. They use their strong, piercing mouthparts like a needle to extract blood from their mammal hosts. The males have larger metallic green eyes and feed on nectar.

The maggot larvae are quite aggressive and efficient predators too. They have sharp mandibles (mouthparts) and inject their prey with venom. The venom immobilises the prey almost instantly and helps to liquefy the tissues, which are then sucked out, leaving just an empty skin. The prey is usually the larvae of other insects, however they are also known to be cannibalistic. March fly larvae can bite if handled.

Classification

Family:
Tabanidae
Superfamily:
Tabanomorpha
Order:
Diptera
Class:
Insecta
Subphylum:
Uniramia
Phylum:
Arthopoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags fly, flies, insects, arthropods, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney, bites, biting,