Animals: Plague of Females

In northern Mississippi last week first one farmer and then another found himself beclouded in a swarm of dancing, biting, infinitesimal gnats. Oldtimers, swatting at the little pests, knew that an old plague had returned, bringing irritation to man, and danger, perhaps painful death, to his beasts.

Before levees were thrown up to keep the river from overflowing, buffalo gnats (simnliidae) used to deposit their eggs in the shallow waters of the annual inundation. As the larvae hatched and took the air, clouds of gnats would spread over the surrounding countryside, feeding on...

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