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Horseflies (Diptera: Tabanidae) can cause severe problems for humans and livestock because of the continuous annoyance performed and the diseases vectored by the haematophagous females. Therefore, effective horsefly traps are in large demand, especially for stock-breeders. To catch horseflies, several kinds of traps have been developed, many of them(More)
Human-made objects (e.g., buildings with glass surfaces) can reflect horizontally polarized light so strongly that they appear to aquatic insects to be bodies of water. Insects that lay eggs in water are especially attracted to such structures because these insects use horizontal polarization of light off bodies of water to find egg-laying sites. Thus,(More)
Host-seeking female tabanid flies, that need mammalian blood for the development of their eggs, can be captured by the classic canopy trap with an elevated shiny black sphere as a luring visual target. The design of more efficient tabanid traps is important for stock-breeders to control tabanids, since these blood-sucking insects can cause severe problems(More)
The characteristic striped appearance of zebras has provoked much speculation about its function and why the pattern has evolved, but experimental evidence is scarce. Here, we demonstrate that a zebra-striped horse model attracts far fewer horseflies (tabanids) than either homogeneous black, brown, grey or white equivalents. Such biting flies are prevalent(More)
Based on an earlier observation in the field, we hypothesized that light intensity and horizontally polarized reflected light may strongly influence the flight behaviour of night-active aquatic insects. We assumed that phototaxis and polarotaxis together have a more harmful effect on the dispersal flight of these insects than they would have separately. We(More)
During blood-sucking, female members of the family Tabanidae transmit pathogens of serious diseases and annoy their host animals so strongly that they cannot graze, thus the health of the hosts is drastically reduced. Consequently, a tabanid-resistant coat with appropriate brightness, colour and pattern is advantageous for the host. Spotty coats are(More)
White horses frequently suffer from malign skin cancer and visual deficiencies owing to their high sensitivity to the ultraviolet solar radiation. Furthermore, in the wild, white horses suffer a larger predation risk than dark individuals because they can more easily be detected. In spite of their greater vulnerability, white horses have been highly(More)
Trapping flies with sticky paper sheets is an ancient method. The classic flypaper has four typical characteristics: (i) its sticky paper is bright (chamois, light yellow or white), (ii) it is strip-shaped, (iii) it hangs vertically, and (iv) it is positioned high (several metres) above ground level. Such flypapers, however, do not trap horseflies(More)
Aquatic insects find their habitat from a remote distance by means of horizontal polarization of light reflected from the water surface. This kind of positive polarotaxis is governed by the horizontal direction of polarization (E-vector). Tabanid flies also detect water by this kind of polarotaxis. The host choice of blood-sucking female tabanids is partly(More)
Blood-sucking female tabanid flies cause serious problems for animals and humans. For the control of tabanids, the knowledge about their seasonality and daily activity is of great importance. Earlier, only traditional traps capturing exclusively female tabanids have been used to survey tabanid activity. The data of such temporal trapping do not reflect(More)