Newer, Bitier Species Of Midge Discovered - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Newer, Bitier Species Of Midge Discovered

Published July 3, 2015

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Sarefo/Wikimedia Commons

The tiny, rash-inducing biting fly that has plagued campers across North America has finally made its first appearance in Iceland, with predictable results.

The Icelandic Institute of Natural History reports that Ceratopogonidae, commonly known as the biting midge, has at long last found its way to our fair shores. They were first spotted in Hvalfjörður, west Iceland, but have since appeared elsewhere in the country.

RÚV reports that there is no explanation for how the flies got here, but they are already plaguing the locals. The flies are themselves very small, but their bite is not only painful; it also causes a reaction similar to that of a mosquito (which are, thankfully, absent in Iceland).

The discovery has caused something of a scare, as reports of bitings are coming into numerous media sources, with MBL reporting on a young girl bitten some 75 times, and Vísir publishing some extraordinary photos of musician Karl Tómasson bitten many times over his upper body, the bites considerably swollen and red.

As the fly is considered especially aggressive, people are searching for methods to keep them at bay. Vísir reports that common fans could be effective, as the tiny flies are not known to fare too well in high winds. Once bitten, remedies that are effective for mosquito bites might also help in relieving the pain and itching from ceratopogonidae bites.

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