A Cleg – Haematopota pluvialis

It’s Latin name means something like blood-drinker of the rain, but these flies are also quite happy to drink your blood in the sun!

A cleg biting trying to bite through cloth
A cleg trying to bite through cloth
A biting cleg - Haematopota pluvialis
A biting cleg – Haematopota pluvialis

Seeing so much of nature is one of the benefits of working (or just being) out of doors. But it also makes you prey to some of the nastier biters, stingers and blood suckers.

The cleg is a type of horsefly and it can bite right through thin clothing. If you’re working or walking where there are livestock and long grass, there’s a good chance there will also be clegs. Although they seem dozy and slow, they are incredibly able to stick with you no matter how fast you move. I’ve found that coconut oil is the best thing to put them off, but it’s not foolproof.

It’s the female that does the biting: she needs blood in order to make her eggs. In her favour, she does have prettily patterned wings:)


6 thoughts on “A Cleg – Haematopota pluvialis”

  1. I was out in our hay field yesterday trying to cut seeding nettles before the cutter arrived and had quite a few encounters with clegs…! The name is new to me I’ve been going with ‘those bity flies’ ! Thanks for the enlightenment.

    1. You’re welcome, though I’m sure you’d rather not know them at all! I think possibly the worst thing about them is the way the bites start to itch again a couple of days later. Or maybe it’s the way that by the time you feel the bite, it’s too late and the damage is done:)

  2. No livestock but definitly long grass – and they seem to think I am a good substitue for a horse… T-shirt? No problem for those ladies…

    Thanks, though, for showing us that they are kind of cute on photo… 🙂

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