Gasterophilus (genus)

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Gasterophilus intestinalis (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Gasterophilus Leach, 1817 - (horse bot flies)

There are around 25 species of bot flies in this genus which cause myiasis in horses. They can also occasionally parasitise pigs, dogs, birds and humans. The eggs are laid during the flight of the females. In Gasterophilus intestinalis, the eggs are attached to the hairs of the forelegs and when the horse rubs its mouth on the legs, the larvae move to the mouth cavity where the first instars develop. The 2nd and 3rd instars develop inside the stomach.

The adults are 10-15 mm long and bee-like, with a pattern of black-brown (mainly on the thorax) and yellow-brown (mainly on head, legs and abdomen). They are covered with yellow hair except for the thorax.

Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: