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Human bot fly (larva)

Dermatobia hominis

Description:

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.

Habitat:

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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6 Comments

dandoucette
dandoucette 7 years ago

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

Gina423
Gina423 7 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.

dandoucette
dandoucette 7 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
Gina423 7 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.

dandoucette
dandoucette 7 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.
http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/122...

Gina423
Gina423 7 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?

Gina423
Spotted by
Gina423

Pennsylvania, USA

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

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Reference