Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Dog eat dog, fly eat dog
Gnawing an old coyote skull was one of Fred's happier moments at Chimineas last month.
The rest of the time he attracted deer flies from far and wide.
These particular flies were small with a banded abdomen (like many species) and they feasted on the thinly haired skin immediately behind his nose pad.
A panting short-haired black dog is a supernormal feeding stimulus for biting flies, which are attracted to carbon dioxide and infra-red radiation.
In fact, one of the more effective biting fly traps is a beach ball spray painted black suspended under a funnel that leads to a jar.
Fred was every bit as effective as an attractant, and for a fellow who usually seems impervious to pain he clearly didn't like the flies.
Pawing his nose and scraping a hole to lie in didn't protect him.
They supped well, and by the time we got home Fred's nose had a thin scab the size of a dime.