Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Sept 13, 2011 16:20:06 GMT -8
I figured I would help things out over here in diptera with my rather creepy find.
This is the larva of the Cuterebra emasculator, the squirrel bot fly. Squirrels stripped all the pears off of my trees earlier this year and now they are working on what few pecans my trees are producing so I decided to wage war on them. There were a couple of these huge bugs burrowed into the skin of the squirrel I managed to take out. I cannot find a measuring tool, but it is about the size of an SD card.
Post by starlightcriminal on Sept 15, 2011 6:13:28 GMT -8
I pulled bot fly larvae out of a pet lop rabbit in Florida. I don't know the species, but these were creamy white maggots about the size and shape of a marble. I wish I had photographed them but I was too distracted by my disgust. The smell of the necrotic cavity where the larvae were eating was quite intense. Poor rabbit had four which it apparently picked up when it escaped its run and ventured down a Gopher Tortoise hole. My vet said that they frequently are infested this way, as their warm bellies pass over the ova that are deposited at the shady mouth of the burrow. The rabbit is fine but I learned that they have to be removed with some delicacy because if the larvae break they release toxins that can cause anaphylactic shock. Luckily they came out with relative ease.
I caught a teneral adult of this species a few years back at Lake Itasca. I am truly fascinated with Dipterans and parasitoids in general. I became an Entomologist for this very reason, among others. From what I understand, medical science has looked into the larvae of the Oestridae because some pupate out without leaving any damage behind, regardless of the initial wounding/ eating of subcutaneous tissue. Special enzymes (or something similar) are secreted during evacuation and pupation. Plus these guys are one of the few Invertebrates with larviposition. Sure, they get a bad reputation and deservedly so, but I still am very smitten with them.