Subject: Black bug
Geographic location of the bug: Southwest Mississippi
Time: 04:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: What is this thing? Is it dangerous?
How you want your letter signed: Judy
This is a Bot Fly in the genus Cuterebra, and it poses no threat to humans. According to BugGuide: “Females typically deposit eggs in the burrows and ‘runs’ of rodent or rabbit hosts. A warm body passing by the eggs causes them to hatch almost instantly and the larvae glom onto the host. The larvae are subcutaneous (under the skin) parasites of the host. Their presence is easily detected as a tumor-like bulge, often in the throat or neck or flanks of the host. The larvae breathe by everting the anal spiracles out a hole (so they are oriented head-down inside the host). They feed on the flesh of the host, but only rarely does the host die as a result.” We will attempt to contact Jeff Boettner to see if he can provide any species information.