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Simulidae/ Black fly

Life cycle and habits
Public health importance
– There are about 2,000 species of Blackflies.
– Blackflies occur all around the world from warm
tropics to temperate regions.
– Blackflies inhabit mostly near rivers and streams.
• Identification:
Color is usually black but gray or yellow also exists.
Size ranges from 1.5 to 10 mm in length.
Body divided into head, thorax and abdomen.
Head is somewhat round.
Thorax is shiny and convexed (humpbacked).
Wings are clear broad.
Three pairs of short legs.
Head equal in width to thorax.
Small segmented antennae.
Life cycle:
The life cycle of Black fly consists of 4 stages.
Egg :
Adult fly lay eggs in oxygen-rich flowing water
bodies. The eggs hatch after 1-4 days.
Eggs develop to the next stage called Larva. The
number of larval stages range from 4 to 9. The size of
larva range from 5-15 mm. Larvae do not swim they
remain attached to submerged surfaces of
vegetation, woods, stones etc. Larval stage lasts from
one week to several months. The next stage is pupa.
Pupa emerge from the previous stage called larva.
Pupa also remains attached to submerged surfaces
of objects. At this stage pupa has developing legs and
wings attached to the body. After 2 to 6 days of
development pupa turns into adult.
Pupa develops finally in the last stage called adult. At
this stage the animal is completely grown with all
body parts. At this stage the animal is ready to fly
and feed on hosts. The adult lays eggs and life cycle
(Duration of life cycle stages can vary from species to
• Life cycle:
• Habits:
• Black flies are blood sucking parasites.
• Females feed on blood while males feed on plant sugars.
• Some species feed on human blood while others feed on
birds and other mammals.
• Black flies (unlike mosquitoes) normally don’t enter
• In terms of their biting habits black flies are more active
during day times.
• Certain species show preference in biting specific part of
the body.
• Public health importance:
Because of serious diseases spread by black flies they
have considerable importance in public health. Four
genera of Black flies has more importance in pubic
health importance which are Simulium, Prosimulium,
Austrosimulium and Cnephia.
– Public nuisance.
– Painful bites.
– Onchocerciasis (River Blindness):
• In this disease the affected person looses his sight partially
or totally.
River blindness:
• Black fly Control:
– Mechanical control:
– Chemical control:
– Biological control:
– Personal control:
Mechanical control:
Mechanical fly control is the management
and control of pests using physical means such as
habitat control, habitat destruction etc.
– Habitat control.
– Habitat destruction.
– Trapping of flies.
• Chemical control:
Chemical control of Black flies involve use of
chemicals for controlling black fly population.
Example 1: Aerial spraying of insecticides or larvaecides
for black fly population control.
Example 2: Spatial sprays for controlling adults.
Example 3: Application of insecticides in breeding areas
of black flies.
Example of Insecticide for Black fly: DEET (N,N-diethyl-
meta-toluamide) or picaridin.
• Biological control:
Biological control is the use of natural enemies or
repellents to control or ward off Black flies.
Progressive research is underway towards
biological control of black fly using bacterium
Bacillus Thuringiensis.
• Personal control:
If common control strategies fail at larger scale , personal
protective strategies can be employed for self protection.
Example 1: Application of insect repellent ointment, Lemon
eucalyptus oil or citronella oil to vulnerable body parts can help
avoid bites of black flies.
Example 2: Wear protective clothes covering full body parts.
Example 3: Treatment of clothes with insect repellent chemicals.
Example 4: Electric insecticide vaporizer.
Thank You