Botfly is the common name given to true flies within the family Oestridae. There are around 150 species of botfly.

The larvae of these flies are parasitic on humans and other mammals. In some species the eggs are laid directly on the host but some species use another insect to transport the eggs. Females in these species catch another insect, such as a mosquito or house fly, they then attach their eggs to the other insect and release it. When this insect lands on a mammal then the eggs hatch and the larvae drop on the the host.

In some species the larvae burrow in to the flesh of the mammal. In others the larvae are transferred to the digestive tract of the mammal by being picked up on the mammal's tongue when it is grooming.

A photograph of an adult botfly (Hypoderma sp.)

A photograph of an adult botfly (Hypoderma sp.).
Photograph by Fritz Geller-Grimm licensed under Creative Commons.

Other names for (or types of) Botfly include:

Related terms

Related pages on this web site

See other words beginning with B

Browse terms by A-Z

Back to Glossary

If you have found this glossary useful please consider supporting the Amateur Entomologists' Society by becoming a member or making a donation.