buffalo gnat n Also sp buffalo knat; pronc-sp buffler nat
1 = black fly n. [Prob from its humped shape] chiefly Missip Valley, West
1822 Woods 2 Yrs. Residence 278 cIL, As the first part of it [=summer] was so dry, we had no buffalo gnats, and but few prairie flies or musquetoes. 1837 Irving Rocky Mts. 1.43, Skirting along the north fork for a day or two, excessively annoyed by musquitoes and buffalo gnats, they reached . . a small but beautiful grove. 1858 Hammett Piney Woods Tavern 248 TX, There we were advised to lodge, build a huge fire, and if possible, escape the torments of that curse of the Trinity river, the buffalo knat. 1875 GA Weekly Telegraph & GA Jrl. (Macon) 11 May /3, The Eufaula [AL] Times says a gentleman who is cultivating a piece of land . . in one of the Cowikee bottoms, assures us of the presence there, of the genuine buffalo gnat, which is now killing so many horses and mules in the Mississippi bottom lands. . . The Mississippi buffalo gnat is about half the size of a common house fly and jet black. They have a hump back, or shoulders, like the buffalo, and hence their name. 1883 Forest & Stream 20.442 MS [Black], I des goes out in de mornin’, an’ I looks at de sun, an’ evy time I sneeze I swallers bout er pint er buffler nats. 1910 Daily Huronite (Huron SD) 17 Aug 1/7 IA, They [=physicians] unite in announcing that in their opinion the disease [=polio] is produced by a small flying insect, known throughout the West as the buffalo gnat. 1934 Sun (Baltimore MD) 27 Apr 14/1 AR, Spring farming operations were stopped today in many sections of Arkansas as the worst scourge of Buffalo gnats in years clouded the skies and killed thousands of dollars worth of live stock. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. R10, Very small flies that don’t sting, often seen hovering in large groups or bunches outdoors in summer) Infs AR10, IN42, OR10, WY5, Buffalo gnat; (Qu. R11, A very tiny fly that you can hardly see, but that stings ) Infs LA12, MO38, NC60, SD3,TN24, Buffalo gnat; (Qu. R12, . . Other kinds of flies) Inf CO22, Buffalo gnat. 1968 DARE Tape LA31, Sometimes we have buffalo gnats. Not a regular thing here but they do come once in a while. Further north than here they have the buffalo gnats. 1974 Hutchinson News (KS) 23 June 25/4, Buffalo gnat bites or stings leave me swollen, inflamed and aching. 1991 Grand Saline Sun (TX) 17 Jan 3/5, Area cattle producers and county extension agents have come close to conceding the fight against the buffalo gnat larvae this year. 2013 Gazette (Cedar Rapids IA) 9 July sec A 8/3, The buffalo gnats, also called black flies, . . terrorized and in some cases killed warm-blooded animals in late May and early June.
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