Skin-nontumor / Clinical dermatology

Author: Mowafak Hamodat, M.D., MB.CH.B, MSc., FRCPC (see Authors page)

Revised: 1 June 2016, last major update July 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Botfly

Cite this page: Botfly. website. Accessed December 9th, 2016.
Definition / General
  • Dermatobia hominis flies are acquired during travel to endemic areas
  • Female botfly attaches eggs to abdomen of biting arthropod, eggs hatch, and first stage larvae burrow into skin through insect bite, hair follicle or other wound; larvae spend 4 - 14 weeks in skin developing into third stage larva or “instar," up to 2 cm
  • Larvae then emerge
  • Also called myiasis-the feeding of fly larvae from family Oestridae on living mammals (Wikipedia)
Clinical Features
  • Resemble insect bites, allergic reactions, herpes virus, molluscum contagiosum, bites of mite Sarcoptes scabiei
  • Enlarging lesions may resemble cellulite, pyogenic furuncle or infected sebaceous cyst
Case Reports
  • Petroleum jelly over skin opening to cause larvae to migrate to surface; also venom extractor syringes (Wikipedia)
Clinical Images

Images hosted on other servers:

Figure 1: larvae with anterior end is wider than posterior end; 2: larvae has 2 curved oral hooks on anterior end (for grasping and tearing tissue for feeding); 3: parallel concentric rows of posterior pointing spines on body