She is a life drinker, armed such that she can pierce the toughest hides to reach that which she requires: mammalian blood.
At over an inch long (nearly 30 mm), she is the scourge of Mutt and General, our donkey and horse respectively, not to mention of our herd of cows and our dogs and our cats and even us if the mood strikes her.
Her name—atratus—is Latin and means “clothed in black,” a moniker which suits her with dark accuracy, though “pain on wings” would likewise describe her.
While she haunts the Piney Woods with many cousins, she represents the most obvious species, seen too often, felt too frequently, heard only when the threat looms imminent.
She is a life drinker, though she might also be called a pain giver, for to take what she needs she readily inflicts a most memorable bite.
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All photos of a female black horse fly (a.k.a. mourning horse-fly; Tabanus atratus) perched on a rusty pole.