pun_logo

The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)

You are not logged in.

#1 2009-03-19 04:03:53

Anastasia
Registered user
Name: Array Array
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 5

Tabanus nigrovittatus - similar - what would they be in Greece please?

Sorry I am not a Dipterist, I am the owner of a piece of land in Greece that is deeply buried in agricultural land with no houses about it.

It has become infested with Horse Flies, which from my amateur looking on websites looks, with its big green eyes and size and its ferocious bite to be Tabanus nigrovittatus.

Also on the land are Mosquitos almost equal in size to the above Female Furies from Hades.

What predates on Tabanus nigrovittatus in the bird kingdom and how can I make my land a better habitat for these predators, please?

Do swallows eat large mosquitos? If so, how can I make my land a better nesting site for them, please?

One sure way to protect myself from bites and because of my isolated land was to put a thick layer of Amber Solaire sun cream on my legs which protected any flesh that came loose from trousers and socks. Strangely even without sun cream my sunburnt arms were not attacked.

What is the best trap to kill Tabanus and mosquitos and yet leave benight other insects alone, please?

I have 'trained' the Tabanus nigrovittatus to come on command now, even if I am kitting up with long sleeved blouse, trousers and long socks over the top, at the main road above this most hidden part of Greece.

Anyone wanting to study these beasts from hell are welcome to come at their peril and own risk and must wear protective gear. I might be in Greece this July and must risk a briefest visit to my land to put on yet another garden ornament to show I am still an owner and doing something. It is unlivable at this time due to the infestation.

The land must have static water about it and might be close to a salt marsh for all I know (there must be brackish water as it is so close to the sea, but I could not afford a sea view).

Help.
Thank you.

Offline

 

#2 2009-04-08 06:33:32

Anastasia
Registered user
Name: Array Array
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 5

Re: Tabanus nigrovittatus - similar - what would they be in Greece please?

Might I ask your expert opinion further to my forum entry. If I get rid of a goodly amount of my olive trees and open up the land will this rid me of the Tabanus nigrovittatus (Horse Flies), please? Obviously I cannot get rid of a huge boulder holding up the side of my terrace, but if I put a cabin right the other end of the acre and made it an open area, would I be safer that end, please (this alludes to the T. nigrovittatus nesting in boulders(?))

The large mosquitos are kept at bay by the Horse Flies, but I realise I would need to put a flyscreen around a terrace area to be able to sit out from the cabin. I usually burn Citronella candles.

I am not daft enough to camp on the land. For all I know, jackals come at night! But yet I feel safe, as no beast dare approach in the domain of the 'airborne division' of the biggest flies anywhere (?)

thank you.

Offline

 

#3 2009-04-17 02:16:38

malcolmsmart
Committee
Name: Malcolm Smart
From: Wolverhampton
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 395

Re: Tabanus nigrovittatus - similar - what would they be in Greece please?

I only just came aross your message, so apologies for not responding earlier. Tabanus nigrovittatus is a North American species and does not occur in Europe, so it cannot be the species that you have found in Greece. There are many similar looking species in Greece. If you send me a specimen of your Greek species, I will be very happy to (to my best to)identify it for you.

As regards the reason for the plague numbers you have experienced, you should be aware that females of all species of Tabanus and closely related genera are obligate predators of (warm blooded) vertebrates in the adult phase. They will only be present in significant numbers if there are sufficient prey animals in the vicinity. I suspect strongly that you have large herds of goats on or near your land, perhaps with a fair sprinkling of donkeys!!! Get rid of the mammals and the horseflies will dissappear - but I doubt that your Greek neighbours will appreciate that solution. You may simply have to lump it (learn to live with these beautiful flies) or leave it (flog your land to a lonely goatherd).

I look forward to hearing more on this saga.
Regards, Malcolm

Offline

 

#4 2009-04-28 20:28:58

Anastasia
Registered user
Name: Array Array
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 5

Re: Tabanus nigrovittatus - similar - what would they be in Greece please?

Thank you Malcolm.

Yes I have come across a huge herd during the 'rush hour' on my way back from my land to town (a small fishing village more like), but they were a 15 minute drive away from my plot.

Actually within the area I have yet to see a donkey or a goat or a sheep. It is all deep olive groves in undulating landscape, with no houses nearby.

What I suspect is that there is salt marsh down in the ravines between the terraces, because when I have driven beyond my land I have come across reed beds. I cannot explore to much as I have a fear of getting totally lost in this wilderness of rural tracks. (Yes I know, put a thread from a ball of rope and re-track my steps, mythology not withstanding).

I have been told about a 'Manitoba Trap' which I will try.

But I have been told that in a forest of my town in England there are Horse flies, but I have been to the hospital several times that is nearby and never been bitten. So perhaps stagnant waters and forest help, but as you say they must have something to eat to be there.

What predators attack this huge monstrous fly, please? Some kind of bird perhaps - I could put out nests for them? Would that help?

Close overhead I feel the breeze of great wings, thought it was these flies and saw the great wings of the biggest buzzard I've ever seen. Perhaps not big enough to be an Egyptian vulture. Do they eat these flies?

Will I be eaten again when I go in July, or do they not eat blood but in the breeding season?

I do have a fear of them as a naturalist site studying in Greece gave an example of a tethered donkey being attacked in plague proportions and which died from loss of blood! However, I have succeeded with a secret weapon - Ambre solaire suncream deeply plastered on.

Would it help, if I brought goats onto my land and the flies would eat them and not me?

Loads of questions, sorry. But glad to have found an expert. If I squash one I will take a picture and see if I can post a picture on this forum for you.

Thank you.

Offline

 

#5 2014-11-09 10:35:17

Rainieria
Committee
Name: Darwyn Sumner
Registered: 2008-02-20
Posts: 361
Website

Re: Tabanus nigrovittatus - similar - what would they be in Greece please?

This deserves a few reminiscences, perhaps some ideas.
Malcolm of course is the man who, when he pulled up his car by a mountain meadow in Slovenia, jumped out wielding a net to grab the huge black tabanid that homed in on the car's heat then sat on the bonnet eyeing up its potential victims - but Malcolm's net spoiled its plans.
A good deal of planning went into Lance Gorman's costume when we took a return trip to a marsh in Hungary. Here the major problem was mosquitoes. Thick moleskin trousers, shirts with a lining (sounds hot but surprisingly not), a hat with a mosquito veil and plenty of mosquito repellant, especially on the backs of his hands. Yet still I watched as clouds of mosquitoes lined up along his back. The clue here is to be in an area with someone who is far more attractive to the biters than you are.
Mosquitoes have difficulty penetrating clothing which is double-layered (trousers & shirts) and those should deter injury from the larger horseflies which "slash and lap" rather than "stab and suck". Neither of them like good insect repellant cream - which I'd suggest would be a better defence than suntan lotion. Popping a mosquito veil over a wide-brimmed hat should keep your face safe.
The Manitoba trap is simply a monitoring system, equivalent to Malcolm's hot car. if you're intent on controlling them then this probably won't be a solution.
If you want to destroy the few individuals that get close then keep a net handy, wave it about and catch them - I've used that method to navigate through swarms of the smaller Haematopota in Scotland where the sheer numbers would otherwise have made walking impossible.
Good luck, your land sounds fascinating to us dipterists.


Darwyn Sumner
DF Bulletin Editor, Scheme Organiser: Stilt & Stalk Flies

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson