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Dipterans that Produce Myiasis

By Charles M. Hendrix, DVM, PhD, Professor, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University

Larval dipterans may develop in the subcutaneous tissues of the skin or organs of many domestic animals, producing a condition known as myiasis. There are two types of myiases based on degree of host dependence. In facultative myiasis, the fly larvae are usually free-living; however, in certain circumstances, these larvae can adapt themselves to a parasitic dependence on a host. In obligatory myiasis, the fly larvae are completely parasitic, ie, they depend on the host to complete the life cycle. Without the host, obligatory parasites will die.