Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Overview of Flies

By

Charles M. Hendrix

, DVM, PhD, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University

Last full review/revision Aug 2013 | Content last modified Jun 2016

Flies belong to the order Diptera, a large, complex order of insects. Most members of this order have two wings (one pair) as adults. However, there are a few wingless dipterans. Dipterans vary greatly in size, food source preference, and in the developmental stage that parasitizes the animal or produces pathology. As adults, dipterans may intermittently feed on vertebrate blood or on saliva, tears, or mucus. These dipterans are referred to as periodic parasites and may serve as intermediate hosts for helminth parasites or for protozoan parasites. They may also alternately feed both on feces and on food and may possibly serve as vectors for bacteria, viruses, spirochetes, chlamydiae, etc. As larvae (maggots), dipterans may develop in the subcutaneous tissues of the skin, respiratory passages, or GI tract of vertebrate hosts and produce a condition known as myiasis.

Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Test your knowledge
Fleas and Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Of the >2,200 species of fleas worldwide, only a few infest dogs and cats in North America. Which species is the most prevalent flea on dogs and cats in North America?
Become a Pro at using our website 

Also of Interest

Become a Pro at using our website 
TOP