A fly but that's about all I can work out
No interactions present.
Looks like a Horse fly of some kind
I have suggested Chrysops relictus but that is only based on the Collins Gem book of insects.
This is definately a deer fly (Chrysops spp), the green eyes with spots and the pattern on the wing and back give it away.
However, I think it is C. caecutiens rather than C. relictus. Two reasons for this, firstly C. caecutiens is more widespread and common. Also Michael Chinery (Collins guide to insects) indicates C, relictus has thicker, less distinct black marks on the abdomen. I checked pictures of the two on Google images and your picture definately look more like C. caetutiens. I've seen many C. caeutiens but I don't think I've ever seen C. relictus.
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I agree with Graham, this is a female Chrysops caecutiens, as shown by the black inverted-V marking on the abdomen, and the dark hind tibia (middle part of leg). Alan Stubs's English name for this species is "Splayed Deerfly", the "splayed" referring to the shape of the V mark.
Entomologist and biological recorder
Great thanks, am I right in thinking that you wouldn't want one of these to bite you?
Richard G - iSpot technical team
Yes, you're right in thinking I wouldn't want it to bite me! It's the females that bite, not the males, as the females need a blood meal in order for their eggs to mature properly. Chrysops flies have a habit of going for the back of the head! When horseflies bite, they inject some saliva that includes an anti-coagulating agent to prevent the blood clotting, and it is the chemicals in the saliva that our bodies react to, causing the swelling and itchiness associated with horse-fly bites.
(Information from "British soldierflies and their allies" by Alan Stubbs and Martin Drake.)
I can well atest to the reation a horse fly bite causes. Whilst working on Skokholm island some years ago I was bit on the back of my leg. The bite swelled up into a blister 2.5cm across and over 1.5cm high. It itched all the time, until it was lanced by a chicken! I was stood waving off some visitors when a chicken came up behind me and pecked he blister, I apparently jumped higher than Dick Fosbury. It;s a good job I'm a vegetarian or there would have been chicken on the menu that night.
They don't pierce the skin as it feels like, they bite leaving a 'V' shaped flap of skin (large enough for you to see) from which they 'drink' your blood. I've been bit a few times but this was the only time I reacted so badly, therefore, I always asumed it is some other organism in the saliva that caused my major reaction. Other bites have done nothing other than itch a little. For some reason I must have had a larger reaction to the chemical on this one occasion.
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