Jan 7, 2010

Sheepish Fly

Photo source: Tony

The fly below was spotted in Tasmania. It's a sheep nasal bot fly, which was introduced (much to the joy of the sheep) into Australia. Though they prefer sheep, there are many cases where they've infected humans. Infected, you ask? Here's what I mean:

The adult female fly is active during summer and early fall. Eggs are retained in the body until they hatch. Flies deposit as many as 500 larvae in the nostrils of sheep. The larvae then move up the nasal passages to the nasal and frontal sinuses. The larvae remain in the sinuses for 8 to 10 months and then are sneezed out of the nostrils. The larvae pupate in the soil with the pupal period lasting 3 or more weeks, depending on temperature. Adults then emerge from the pupae and may live as long as 28 days.


Isn't nature lovely sometimes?

12 comments:

BugLady said...

I got a bot fly larva in my scalp once. My dad sprayed this vile dog medicine on it and it died in there, and my body absorbed it. TAKE THAT BOT FLY.
True story...

Vera Ezimora said...

WOW.

This is freaky.

membracid said...

The affectionate name for these flies is snot bots.

tim eisele said...

Wow. It even *looks* like something a sheep horked out of its nose.

Lyra Bird said...

isn't it a cicata? it really looks like it. in brazil we call it "Cigarra". it doesn't have any poison or sting, but it is REALLY creepy!

Ghost said...

I agree with lyra bird.

Buglady said...

Lots of brazilians here, it seems! Saudacoes, compatriotas!

Here's a common brazilian cicada... part of it.

http://phoneutria.us/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/about.jpg

This bot fly does look like a cicada. A really big chunk of bug with little wings that look like they can't possibly support flight :)

Cicadas lay their eggs on the ground, though, not in animals.

LucidLilith said...

buglady - eeeww!

sheepish fly - very very eeeew!

Anonymous said...

So if one of these infested your car, could you call it an autobot? Sorry, didn't mean to be decepticon.

BugLady said...

We have similar types of flies in Brazil that lay eggs in domestic animals. It was a lot of trouble for us to keep our dogs free of them. Poor doggies. I wish I had a photograph to show of one time when a fly must have laid hundreds of eggs in my dog's leg, as the worms tore a huge hole... like the size of a lime, and inside it was swarming with wiggling larvae. Yuck.. smelled fowl too. The vet gave us calamine ointment to shove in the hole, and that killed everything and sealed the hole pretty quick. Freaky!

Pam said...

Tony & gang:
You MIGHT have "ugly" photos and laughable notes of interest here, but you NEVER cease to put a smile on my face each time I visit your blog! Thank you!!! In appreciation, I've left you a gift at my site:
http://adoseofpositivity.blogspot.com

terry said...

where can I post a photo fpt id of a bot fly besides bug giide?