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Black fly (Simuliidae)—E.S. Ross
Any member of the insect family Simuliidae, comprising 300 species of small, humpbacked dipterans found worldwide. Usually black or dark gray, the blackfly has short mouthparts adapted for sucking blood. The females bite and are sometimes abundant enough to kill chickens and even cattle. Some species carry worms capable of causing human disease, including river blindness. In subarctic regions blackflies may be so numerous that human habitation is impossible.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on blackfly, visit Britannica.com.