Exhibition "Horseflies in Baltic Amber"

Event duration:
from 1 October 2020 to 1 November 2020

The project "Microworld of Amber" has been intended to popularize natural and scientific collection of the Amber Museum. In the course of exhibitions we present inhabitants of the "amber" forest and tell about their life. Items that due to different reasons are not exhibited in the museum's permanent exposition often become showpieces of the project.

Horseflies is a family of two-winged insects that is spread worldwide and numbers in 4350 species.

Horseflies prefer well lighted, humidified and warmed by the sun places with abundance of water bodies and swamps with forage resources as big warm-blooded animals.

Horseflies are among insects that are rarely found in Baltic amber. Adult horseflies live in the open spaces and in a forest they prefer thinned areas. That is why the damp shadowy "amber" forest wasn't the most desired habitat. The following species have been discovered in Baltic amber: Mesomyia, currently inhabiting Africa, Australia, South America and not-consuming-blood Australian Pseudotabanus and widely spread Haematopota.

The notion that horseflies are necessarily bloodsuckers is wrong. Female horseflies would be enough vegetative juices for self-feeding. But for the growth of their breed protein is vital that they can get only from the blood of mammals, birds and reptiles. Female mouthparts are similar to a surgical scalpel that cuts skin in the places, where blood vessels are dense. During one "bite" female horsefly drinks as much blood as the whole hundred of mosquitos! However female horseflies live a month long.

Male horseflies are totally unbloody, they feed on flower nectar, fruit and lick juice on trees, but live not long – for only 4–5 days.

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