The flight performance of Simulium ornatum Mg. s.l. was measured under laboratory conditions using a simple flight mill. Males and unmated females were flown and the duration, distance and average speed of flight were recorded for adults fed on water only, sucrose, blood & water, or blood & sucrose. On 91% of all test occasions sucrose-fed insects flew but 25% of those on water only did not fly. Feeding flies on 10% sucrose solution markedly improved both willingness to fly and flight performance, and under these conditions maximum duration, distance and average speed recorded were 4.9 h, 4·2 km and 2·84 km/h, respectively. The ratio of average to maximum speed was 0·631 for females and 0·610 for males, with absolute maximum speeds of 3·19 and 2·99 km/h, respectively. Duration and distance flown were well-correlated, speed being the least variable aspect of flight performance measured. The distributions of flight duration and distance flown were skewed such that few insects made long flights. Mean flight performance at different ages was measured; unmated females appeared to retain a high level of willingness to fly throughout the age-range tested (up to 33 days). The longest recorded flight (5·3 h) was made by a female during an overnight experiment. The implications for long-range flight movements by simuliids are discussed.