Black Flies and Reproduction

Whooping cranes aren’t the only species bothered by Black flies in Wisconsin.

Photo credit: Richard Urbanek/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances presents some of the best data to date supporting hypotheses about the effects that black flies have on Common Loon nesting behavior and success.

Chapman University’s Walter Piper and colleagues monitored Common Loon nests for 25 years in northern Wisconsin.

Lead author Walter Piper comments, “Black flies, which we think of as a nuisance and no more, actually impact population reproductive success. 

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Watch this 10-second video clip of black flies (Simulium johansenni) harassing a taxidermied brood mount. (Credit: Richard Urbanek)

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