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Deer Fly

Chrysops sp.


A distinguishing characteristic of a deer fly is patterned gold or green eyes. Males feed on plant juices. Females feed on blood from mammals.


North America, they are often found in damp environments, such as wetlands or forests.


There were quite a few deerflies around Algonquin. I received some painful bites after which I swelled a little locally,like a weak bee sting, for a few hours. The first 3 are one that was stunned after being swatted by my friend she was biting. The last 3 are one on my hammock and then one on my hand. I was waiting for the one on my hand to bite me while I was photographing it, but it didn't.

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dandoucette 9 years ago

Thanks. That is big, this was similar in size, just a bit smaller.

rubens.luciano 9 years ago

Nice pictures Dan ! How long is it ? The one I take the pictures was very big, about 1,5 cm.

dandoucette 9 years ago

Thanks shebebusynow. I hear you about the bites. I was swelling for a couple of hours after some bad bites.

shebebusynow 9 years ago

Love the eye close-up! We call them deer flies & green-eyed flies. Seems like most places I've encountered deer flies there are eventually horse flies seen, but they seem to be a relatively smaller population. Fortunately, both of those are fewer than mosquitoes. What I really object to about these guys' bites is that they take a big round section of skin, so it itches more & takes longer to heal.

dandoucette 9 years ago

Scott, sounds like a great place to live, even with the record numbers of biting insects. Thanks a lot TracyL.

TracyL 9 years ago

I love this picture!

ScottRasmussen 9 years ago

Yes, my house is at the edge of a very large parcel of land set aside for conservation purposes. It's a series of wooded hills, the tallest of which tops 1100 feet, with ponds, streams, swampy areas, bare rocky areas and several different types of forest. We had a very wet winter and spring which left a lot of standing water in pools, tree stumps, rock hollows, etc., which created ideal conditions this year for record numbers of biting insects, especially mosquitoes.

Hema 9 years ago

It has a almost sharp bird like beak, which I am sure has great penetrating abilities.

dandoucette 9 years ago

Sounds like you have a lot of nasty flies there. Are you in a rural area?

ScottRasmussen 9 years ago

We have horseflies around, but they're not omnipresent like the deer flies and their beach-loving relatives the greenhead fly. One nasty biter we have is the biting stable fly, which looks like a housefly but delivers a painful nip.

dandoucette 9 years ago

Is there any horseflies in your area? I always tended to think of horseflies and deerflies would be found in the same area. I agree they are persistent but easy to smack once they land on you and start to settle in for a meal.

ScottRasmussen 9 years ago

Thankfully I've never been bitten by a horsefly, but I'm guessing my reaction would be similar, but mosquitoes and blackflies just give me typically itchy bites. Luckily deer flies seem to do a lot of buzzing around before they try to bite, so I can try to swat them out of the way, but they certainly are persistent.

The MnMs
The MnMs 9 years ago

Love those crazy eyes :-)

dandoucette 9 years ago

Thanks for the sympathy and comments. I thought I had a bad reaction Scott, but yours sounds worse than mine. Do you react bad to horsefly bites and/or mosquito?

ScottRasmussen 9 years ago

Good old deer flies, the bane of my existence in July and August. I'm mildly allergic to their bites and get chills and sweats for a few minutes as well as a big itchy rash for a few hours. You're to be commended for trying to get the "action shot" of one biting you.

Nicholas4 9 years ago

Sorry to hear you got bit by them.. Nasty bite too.. Got the personnal experience myself!
Nice close up shots Dan.

Spotted by

Ontario, Canada

Spotted on Jul 17, 2011
Submitted on Jul 19, 2011

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