Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Biting and nuisance flies

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Glen Cousquer

Introduction

  • Biting flies bite their hosts and have mouthparts that are adapted for this purpose.
  • Nuisance flies can be defined as those flies that are annoying or can spread disease to people and their domestic animals by biting or carrying pathogens.
  • As such, they can be distinguished from those flies that do not bite their hosts but are guilty, instead, of laying their eggs on the host. The emergent larvae of greenbottles ( Lucilia sericata) and botflies ( Cuterebridae) attack rabbit tissues, a condition known as flystrike or myiasis.
  • All biting and nuisance flies are members of the insect order Dipteraand possess a single pair of wings.
  • The close association of many of these insectes with dead animals, rubbish and feces, together with their attraction to humans, animals and foodstuffs, means that they are well suited to the transmission of a range of bacterial and parasitic disease.
  • Certain biting flies serve as vectors for significant rabbit diseases, including myxomatosis   Myxomatosis  , VHD   Viral hemorrhagic disease  and tularemia   Tularemia  .

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Order: Diptera.
  • Suborder:
    • Culicidae:
      • Family: Culicidae.
      • GenusAnophelesOchlerotatus.
    • Cyclorrhapha:
      • Family: Muscidae.
      • GenusMuscaStomoxysHaematobiaLyperosia).
    • Nematocera:
      • Family: Ceratopogonidae.
      • GenusSimulium.
    • Brachycera:
      • Family: Tabanidae.
      • GenusTaboanusChrysopsHaematopota.
    • Cuterebridae: strictly speaking does not bite or cause a nuisance unless, maybe, present in large numbers.

General information

  • Biting and nuisance flies include:
    • House flies ( Musca domestica).
    • Face flies ( Musca autumnalis).
    • Stable flies ( Stomoxys calcitrans).
    • Horn flies (buffalo flies, Haematobia spp).
    • Black flies ( Simuliumspp).
    • Horse flies (deer flies, tabanids, Haematopotaspp).
    • Mosquitoes ( Culicidaespp).
  • House flies, stable flies, horn flies and face flies are commonly descirbed as "filth flies". Their maggots perform a useful role in breaking down waster matter. The adult flies, however, can cause a nuisance and affect livestock adversely through their annoying and/or blood sucking behavior.
  • All are parasitic in the adult stages.
  • All are nuisance flies:
    • Lapping or sponging at lacrimal secretions and wounds.
    • Can produce a painful bite.
    • Can cause inflammation and/or granulomatous reactions.
  • Larval stages develop in decaying organic matter or in water (in the case of mosquitoes).
  • Development during the summer months, several generations.

Print off the Owner Factsheet onBiting and nuisance flies  Biting and nuisance flies   to give to your clients.

Habitat

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Structure

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Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Control

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Petersen J M & Schriefer M E (2005) Tularemia: emergence/re-emergence. Vet Res 36 (3), 455-467 PubMed.
  • Jenkins J R (2001) Skin disorders of the rabbit. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract (2), 543-563 PubMed.
  • McCreadie J W, Colbo M H & Hunter F F (1994) Notes on sugar feeding and wild mammalian hosts of black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) in Newfoundland. J Med Entomol 31 (4), 566-570 PubMed.
  • Krinsky W L (1976) Animal disease agents transmitted by horse and deer flies (Diptera: Tabanidae). J Med Entomol 13 (3), 225-275 PubMed.


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