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  • Woodrat Bot Fly - (Cuterebra americana)

    Woodrat Bot Fly - (Cuterebra americana)

    The large Woodrat Bot Fly is a terrible menace to woodland rodents and squirrels as well as domestic cats and dogs, often requiring an eventual trip to the veterinarian.

    Picture of Woodrat Bot Fly
    Staff Writer (6/28/2016): Woodrat Bot Flies are members of the the Oestridae family. These large, bee mimics do not sting, nor do they bite. This species is, however, a parasite to small mammals in the forest as well as unfortunate pets. The female fly deposits fertilized eggs around the perimeter of a den or hole occupied by a rodent or rabbit. Once the rodent passes by, it picks up an egg in its nose (sniffing around) or mouth. The egg, now inside the animal, moves to the outer body, just under the skin. This may be around the throat, stomach, legs or back. There, the egg enlarges and a tumor-like growth forms on the animal. This is called a warble. The small hole is created in the warble (warble hole) that will allow the hatched fly larva to breathe. The larva (maggot) is worm-like, plump and grows in size. When it is ready to pupate, it leaves the warble through the hole and falls to the ground. This usually leaves the animal with a large gaping wound that can easily become infected if not treated. Pets with a warble can be brought to a veterinarian, where the Woodrat Bot Fly larva may be removed and the warble hole treated so that it heals. The newly-freed larva will encase itself on the ground and pupate, emerging as a flying adult.

    As a parasite, the Woodrat Bot Fly does not kill its host, but it can make it uncomfortable and even sick if not treated.

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    Details of the:
    Woodrat Bot Fly

    Category: Fly or Mosquito
    Common name: Woodrat Bot Fly
    Scientific Name: Cuterebra americana
    Other Names: Warble Fly, Heel Fly

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Diptera
          Family: Oestridae
           Genus: Cuterebra
            Species: americana

    Size (Adult, Length): 20mm to 30mm (0.79in to 1.18in)

    Identifying Colors: black, orange

    Additional Descriptors: flying, fat, large, round, hairy, big, harmful, wolves

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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