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The Aussie salute, also known as the Barcoo salute (after the Barcoo River) or Bush salute, is the waving of one's hand in front of the face at regular intervals in order to prevent Australian bush flies from landing on it, or entering one's nose or mouth. Ecologist Eric Pianka characterizes it as a gesture that is "diagnostic of Australia". The Australian bush fly (Musca vetustissima) is the species that is the cause of the Aussie salute as opposed to other flies such as the housefly, as the Australian bush fly is attracted to bodily fluids such as sweat, nasal mucus, saliva, tears and blood. The Aussie salute can often be seen in outdoor television news reports or interviews, a recent example being a news report by ABC Television on flooding in Eugowra. Historically in Australia, the cor

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  • Aussie salute
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  • The Aussie salute, also known as the Barcoo salute (after the Barcoo River) or Bush salute, is the waving of one's hand in front of the face at regular intervals in order to prevent Australian bush flies from landing on it, or entering one's nose or mouth. Ecologist Eric Pianka characterizes it as a gesture that is "diagnostic of Australia". The Australian bush fly (Musca vetustissima) is the species that is the cause of the Aussie salute as opposed to other flies such as the housefly, as the Australian bush fly is attracted to bodily fluids such as sweat, nasal mucus, saliva, tears and blood. The Aussie salute can often be seen in outdoor television news reports or interviews, a recent example being a news report by ABC Television on flooding in Eugowra. Historically in Australia, the cor
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  • The Aussie salute, also known as the Barcoo salute (after the Barcoo River) or Bush salute, is the waving of one's hand in front of the face at regular intervals in order to prevent Australian bush flies from landing on it, or entering one's nose or mouth. Ecologist Eric Pianka characterizes it as a gesture that is "diagnostic of Australia". The Australian bush fly (Musca vetustissima) is the species that is the cause of the Aussie salute as opposed to other flies such as the housefly, as the Australian bush fly is attracted to bodily fluids such as sweat, nasal mucus, saliva, tears and blood. The Aussie salute can often be seen in outdoor television news reports or interviews, a recent example being a news report by ABC Television on flooding in Eugowra. Historically in Australia, the cork hat was worn to discourage Australian bush flies, but it has been replaced by insect repellents and mesh masks in areas where the flies swarm. Australian bush flies are disease vectors, since they walk on dung and carrion and, if not prevented from doing so, can lead to infections, including eye infections such as "sandy blight". Pianka reports that the Aussie salute is effective only as long as the flies are not too sticky, and that once a fly has tasted sweat, hand waving is generally useless at encouraging it to leave, with physically wiping off the fly being required to get rid of it. The introduction of various species of dung beetles to Australia as a control mechanism in the 20th century was successful and reduced the population of the Australian bush fly by about 90%.
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