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Human bot fly (larva)

Dermatobia hominis


This botfly larva was removed from my shoulder in June 2012 after spending a month in Suriname. The adult botfly has no mouthparts, so all the nutrients the fly needs must be obtained during the larval stage. The eggs are picked up by a mosquito and when a mosquito bites a human host, the eggs are injected under the skin and hatch. This larva is about 2-3 weeks old when it was removed from my skin. The head of the larva has spikes on it that help the larva stay in place under the skin.


The adult botfly lives in tropical regions of Central and South America. The larvae live under the skin of warm-blooded animals.

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Dan Doucette
Dan Doucette 9 years ago

Hahaha! Thanks, I know what to look for if it happens.

Gina423 9 years ago

It starts out as a painful bugbite that doesn't seem to heal. Then it gets kind of a bulls-eye bruise around it. Then a couple weeks later you feel it start to move around under your skin. I named him Herman and he's currently in a jar of rubbing alcohol on my desk.

Dan Doucette
Dan Doucette 9 years ago

Sounds like you were in a bad place for them. I think it's just a matter of time until I get one. Oh well, just another cool story after!

Gina423 9 years ago

Wow, great link! Yeah, the mosquito that got me with my botfly bit right through my t-shirt. Good thing I was wearing a hat; my advisor got a botfly in her scalp once and she had to shave her head.

Dan Doucette
Dan Doucette 9 years ago

Wow! Pretty crazy! I haven't had any run-ins with botflies, which is surprising because I visit the tropics a lot. I did spot one of their hosts in my car last summer, that was bizarre. Check out this spot.

Gina423 9 years ago

Been a year since I had this thing taken out. Seems like only yesterday. Anyone else had a run-in with a bot fly?

Spotted by

Pennsylvania, USA

Spotted on Jun 25, 2012
Submitted on Jul 22, 2012

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