Paul Leyland – Black-horned Cleg

 

Paul writes: I’ve seen a lot in the press lately about an invasion of horseflies, due to the hot weather. Also lots of advice about how to avoid them. I must be one of the few people who actually hope to find one, especially a female. One look at the eyes in this photograph will explain why. It is the females who have the beautiful eyes but they are also the ones who bite and draw blood. This is a Black-horned Cleg (Haematopota crassicornis), which is one of the commonest horseflies throughout the UK and mainland Europe. It favours moist woodlands and pond margins.

I saw this one recently at Filey Dams Nature Reserve in North Yorkshire. It’s about 10mm long. It wasn’t in the least threatening and just sunbathed on a walkway rail as I snapped away. I must admit though it does look pretty fearsome and I wouldn’t fancy it landing on my bare arms or legs.

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