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The Innumerable Swarming Horse Flies of Patagonia


For about three weeks to a month during the summer in Patagonia, a huge population of horse flies reaches maturity and trolls the riverbanks looking for nectar and mammals to swarm. As the only homo sapiens in the area during the sea kayaking trip, we were the perfect targets for the flies when we were near land.

The fly, scaptia lata, is called the Tábano by locals. It’s about an inch long, and it will sometimes deliver a moderately painful bite if it lands on you. According to our guide Niccolo, he has never seen a baby fly, and not much is known about them except for the supposed fact that if you catch one and eat it, you will not get bit by the fly again. Tiff and Greg might have to resort to that when they encounter them again on their trip south via the Carretera Austral.

One Response to “The Innumerable Swarming Horse Flies of Patagonia”

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