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Arthropoda: Diptera






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Most adult "horseflies" are bloodsuckers, and the larvae are mostly aquatic or semiaquatic, feeding on various kinds of animals occurring in the medium in which they develop. One preferred food are Tipulidae larvae and other groups inhabiting the banks of ponds and streams. Earthworms and snails are also attacked. Tabanus stigma F. is known to develop in drying seaweed in Puerto Rico, the larvae feeding on sand fly larvae. Davis (1919) recorded several species of Tabanus as predaceous on Scarabaeidae grubs. The eggs of most species are laid in large masses on foliage overhanging water or on stones or other nearby objects. With some species they are found in a single compact layer, the eggs placed vertically, side by side; while in others they are several layers deep (Clausen 1940/62)



Calliphoridae. -- <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles> -- The blowflies, bluebottle flies and screwworm flies are flesh feeders. They lay masses of eggs in dead animal carcasses. The presence of these flies is indicative of a dead animal.



Screwworm flies are attracted to wounds and some species are parasitic and able to penetrate living flesh. They are especially prevalent in southeastern North America. Females lay their eggs in wounds and the larvae invade surrounding tissue. They are especially serious pests of sheep.



Screwworms were periodically effectively reduced in number by the liberation of males that have been sterilized with radioactive cobalt. The females, which copulate just once, cannot produce progeny if their mate is a sterilized male. The flies were even completely eradicated from one island by the deployment of this technique.



Medication of wounds on animals is effective in control, but it is necessary to be on continuous alert for new wounds.


Wool maggots are attracted to soggy and wet wool, especially around the rump area. Precautionary control measures involve clipping the wool.


The maggots of some screwworm species are able to clean-up dead flesh from wounds and thereby cause rapid healing, especially for very deep wounds.


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Key References: <medvet.ref.htm> <Hexapoda>


Bullington, S. W. 2001. Blow flies: their life cycle & where to look for the various stages. Forensic Entomology.

Grimshaw, P. H. 1901. "Part I. Diptera". Fauna Hawaiiensis. 3 (1): 177

Grunin, K. Ya. 1966. "New and little-known Calliphoridae (Diptera), mainly bloodsucking or subcutaneous parasites of birds". Ent. Obozr (in

Russian). 45: 897903.

Hall, D. G. 1948. The blowflies of North America. Thomas Say Publ. p. 4.

Hardy, G. H. 1940. "Notes on Australian Muscoidea". Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 51: 133-146.

Hastings, Anne, D. Yeates & J. Hamilton. 2004. Anatomical Atlas of Flies, CSIRO, Australia.

Kurahshi, Hiromu. 2007. 109, Family Calliphoridae. Australasian/Oceanian Diptera Catalog

Matheson, R. 1950. Medical Entomology. Comstock Publ. Co, Inc. 610 p.

Monaghan, Peter. 2007. "Rx:Maggots, Notes from Academe". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 53 (39): A48.

Olsen, Alan R. 1998. "Regulatory Action Criteria for Filth and Other Extraneous Materials*1 III. Review of Flies and Foodborne Enteric Disease". Regulatory & Toxicology & Pharmacology 28 (3): 199211

Peacock, Andrew. 2004. Blow fly in Sheep. Newfoundland & Labrador Agriculture.

Rognes, Knut & T. Pape. 2007. Taxon details: Calliphoridae. Fauna Europea version 1.1.

Service, M. 2008. Medical Entomology For Students. Cambridge Univ. Press. 289 p

Sherman, R. 2006. Maggot Therapy Project. Maggot Therapy.

Sutherst, R. W., J. P. Spradbery & G. F. Maywald. 1989. "The potential geographical distribution of the Old World screwworm fly, Chrysomya

bezziana". Med. Vet. Entomol. 3 (3): 273280

Legner, E. F. 1995. Biological control of Diptera of medical and veterinary importance. J. Vector Ecology 20(1): 59-120.

Legner, E. F.. 2000. Biological control of aquatic Diptera. p. 847-870. Contributions to a Manual of Palaearctic Diptera,

Vol. 1, Science Herald, Budapest. 978 p.

Welch, J. B. 1993. Predation by Spiders on Ground-Released Screwworm Flies, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Diptera; Calliphoridae) in

Mountainous Area of Southern Mexico. J. Archnology 21(1): 23-28.

Whitworth, Terry. 2006. Keys to the Genera & Species of blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) of America North of Mexico. Proc. Ent. Soc.

Wash. 108(3): 689-725



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