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Hippobosca equina (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Lausfliegen
• English: louse flies
• Français: hippoboscidés

Hippoboscidae - (louse flies)

The family of louse flies or keds contains more than 200 species of small blood-sucking flies that behave like ticks in some aspects. The adults are ectoparasites on birds or mammals. Some species might occasionally bite humans like the sheep ked, Melophagus ovinus.

The adult fly attaches itself to the skin of its host with specialized claws. The larval development takes place inside the abdomen of the female. When emerging from the female, the larva is fully grown and ready to pupate. The tsetse flies (genus Glossina, family Glossinidae) have a similar biology.

The adults are flat and adapted at moving on the skin of birds or mammals. Some species are flightless with rudimentary wings while others have one pair of well developed wings like other flies. Still others are able to fly but shed their wings when they have settled on a host.

For details see the respective page in Wikipedia.

The following genera are currently entered under this family: