FIGURE 9.12. Tabanomorpha. (A) A horse fly, Tabanus opacus (Tabanidae); and (B) a soldier fly, Odontomyia hoodiana (Stratiomyidae). [A, from J. F. McAlpine, 1961, Variation, distribution and evolution of the Tabanus (Hybomitra) frontalis complex of horse flies (Diptera: Tabanidae), Can. Entomol. 93:894-924. By permission of the Entomological Society of Canada. B, from F. R. Cole and E. I. Schlinger, 1969, The Flies of Western North America. By permission of the University of California Press.]

closely followed that of the hoofed mammals. Although they are known to be capable of transmitting various diseases both human and of livestock, tabanids cause far greater economic losses by their disturbance and irritation of livestock, resulting in lower yields of milk and meat. Only female horse flies suck blood, in the absence of which they feed, like males and like members of most tabanid species, on nectar and pollen. Larvae mostly occur in mud, decaying vegetation, and shallow water (moving or still) where they prey on other invertebrates. Another large and well-distributed family is the STRATIOMYIDAE (Figure 9.12B), containing some 1500 species, commonly known as soldier flies. The weakly flying adults are encountered among low-growing herbage and are most probably nectar feeders. Members of many species are conspicuously striped, and some species are wasp mimics. Larvae, often gregarious, are aquatic or terrestrial, occurring in decaying organic matter, in dung, or under bark. Some are scavengers, others are predaceous or phytophagous, the latter group including pests of lawns and sugarcane. The RHAGIONIDAE (snipe flies) are perhaps the most primitive Brachycera. The family, which contains more than 300 extant species, as well as fossils from the Upper Jurassic, is widely distributed, though seldom encountered, because of the secretive, solitary habits of adult flies. Members of many species are nectar feeders, others are predaceous, and females of some species suck blood. Larvae occur in damp soil, rotting wood, etc. and are believed to prey on other insects.

Infraorder Asilomorpha

The 12 families in this very large taxon fall into three well-defined superfamilies, Asiloidea, Bombylioidea, and Empidoidea. About 80% of the asiloids belong to the cosmopolitan family ASILIDAE (robber flies) (Figure 9.13A), which with about 5000 species is among the largest of the orthorrhaphous Brachycera. Adults suck the body fluids of a variety of other insects. They are powerful fliers and catch their prey on the wing, have well-developed eyes and some degree of stereoscopic vision, possess strong legs for grasping the prey and are usually hairy, especially around the face, a feature that perhaps protects them during the struggle. THEREVIDAE form a widely distributed group of about 500 species that generally resemble robber flies, though they are not predaceous, feeding instead on

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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