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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

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.


suek said...

Don't know if it would help for the next time, but you might check out a feed store for one of the spray on fly repellents used for horses...

suek said...


New look! You must have had too much free time on your hands!

I like the old look better...but that's ok...I'll still check you out every day!

Camera Trap Codger said...

Yeah, it's kinda spread out, isn;t it?

The problem was the old style format cutting off the x-large images on the right. I had to use the new format to move the windows to the left margin, so I could use larger images.

Not to worry -- I'll continue to work on it till I get it right.