Deer flies belong to the insect family Tabanidae which is also known as greenheads or bulldog flies. We have about 4500 species worldwide, and many of them have dazzling, rainbow-striped or spotted eyes. Allow one to mesmerize you and you will get a painful bite. The females of most species are blood feeders. They use their knifelike mouthparts and slice and dice your skin only to slurp up the flow of blood. Only the females bite, the males sip flower nectar and hover in open areas or over prominent objects to intercept females.
Chrysops vittatus is known as the striped deer fly due to three stripes on its thorax, and four stripes on its abdomen. Deer flies are generally smaller in size (10-12mm) than their cousins the horse flies. They are fairly common in wet wooded areas. For some reason they often circle your head, so wearing a hat helps to deter them.