Currently viewing the category: "Louse Flies"

Subject: Blood sucker in Poland
Location: Poland
June 3, 2015 1:52 pm
This bug sucked blood from my face after a short hike around a small town Poland. It was about the size of a dime I think. The bite left a small raised bump that went away after a couple hours. Please help!
Signature: Shaun

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Hi Shaun,
This is a blood-sucking Louse Fly in the family Hippoboscoidea whose members fly feebly and often lose their wings when they land on a warm blooded host.  Louse Flies are often associated with sheep and those species are known as Sheep Keds.
  We are post-dating your submission so that it goes live in mid June.

Thank you so much Daniel for your quick reply! I feel much better knowing
exactly what it is. The no
wings threw me off. Great job, and thanks again.
-Shaun

Subject: Need help identifying this bug
Location: Vermont
October 22, 2014 3:44 am
We are trying to figure out what type of bug this is. My son felt something on the back of his neck yesterday and took this bug off the back of his neck. He first thought it was a tick but looking at it, it does not appear to be a tick. It has six legs, with hair that you can see on them. It is kind of flat. It was walking sideways (like a crab) on the napkin after taking it of his neck. Any help identifying this would be appreciated.
Signature: Megan

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Dear Megan,
This is a blood sucking Louse Fly, and we just posted another image of a Louse Fly from Vermont a few days ago.

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Subject: Unidentified hitchhiker found in arm hair
Location: Newbury, VT
October 18, 2014 7:50 pm
I returned from a walk in the woods and felt a crawler under my shirt sleeve. I pulled my sleeve back expecting a tick and found this tiny critter instead. He was hanging on for dear life and could not be extracted by hand. We used my “mustache comb” to disentangle it and then snapped some pictures . The last picture shows how small it is compared to a tweezer. It seemed rather soft-bodied…
Signature: Dan in the NEK, VT

Hi Dan,
This is a Louse Fly in the family Hippoboscidae.  According to BugGuide:  “This group includes wingless and winged forms. Most winged ones are dark brownish and smaller than house flies. Flat shape and leathery appearance.”
  Winged species have feeble flight and often loose their wings upon landing on a host animal where they can suck blood.  BugGuide also notes:  “Most are found on birds, others on mammals” and we have discovered that some species are found on livestock and others on deer.  Louse Flies can be opportunistic, and if they cannot locate their typical prey, some will feed on human blood.

Subject: Flying spider
Location: Estonia
May 30, 2014 11:08 am
Hi!
I found this insect yesterday (May 30th, 2014) from a sink. From afar it looked like a spider, because it has long legs. It is not a spider though, because it has only six legs and also two wings. The interesting thing about this insect is that it does not use its wings at all, no matter how much you poke it. It only runs really quickly, like a spider, seems like it is meant to live on the ground and not fly. The wings also seem too small to support its size in the air. I have never seen anything like it. I live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in town, so my questions are: What is it and how did it get here?
Here are some features I noticed about this insect: It likes to crawl into narrow dark places. Its body ends with a thick and short tube-like part. The mouthparts look like the closed mouthparts of a horsefly. It rubs its front legs like a housefly (as seen on the third picture). The top of its head is dark-red.
First picture: in the sink beside my finger.
Second picture: on glass, picture taken through the glass (bottom view).
Third picture: same as the second picture.
Thank you!
Signature: Andero

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Dear Andero,
This is a Louse Fly in the family
Hippoboscidae and it is a true Fly, hence the similarities you observed to a House Fly.  Louse Flies are blood sucking insects and those that have wings can only fly feebly.  Generally Louse Flies are very specific regarding the host, which might be livestock and in some species pigeons and other birds, but when the choice host is not available, they have been known to feed from humans.

Subject: screwworm?
Location: Oman
March 28, 2014 12:29 pm
Hi. I’m on the Arabian coast (Muscat, Oman) and recently found some feral dogs infected with this fly. It was curious to me because it was crawling underneath the coat, down at the skin level, and crawled on the dog as much as flew around him. Kinda hopeful that this is NOT screwworm, because… poor dogs!
Photos taken today (sorry — the fly’s a bit smooshed).
Signature: Char

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Hi Char,
This looks like a Louse Fly in the family Hippoboscidae.  Louse Flies feed on the blood of birds and mammals.  According to BugGuide “Most are host specific on bird species, with a few occurring on mammals.”  There are species that feed on sheep and deer, but we believe if they do not find a preferred host, they may feed off other species.

Subject: fly insect
Location: jordan_irbed
February 11, 2014 1:54 am
Dear sir,
This is Dr.Motasem from Jordan, recently we have found this insect (attached) in our home (about 5 in number),we live in modern town, not a village, no trees, no animals or pets in around.
3 days ago i got an insect bite which was severly swollen,itchy and tender relieved by local and oral anti-histamine( u can identify the sting head (double head) in the attached file).
Looking forward to hearing from u soon. Any suggestions is much appreciated.
Thanks in advance
Yours
Motasem
Signature: Motasembella

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Dear Dr. Motasem,
You are being visited by Louse Flies in the family Hippoboscidae.  Louse Flies feed on the blood of animals, and though they have preferred hosts depending upon the species, they will feed opportunistically from humans if there is no other prey available.  You have indicated that there are no animals near you, which would explain why you are being bitten, but it does not explain why the Louse Flies are there if there is no food source.  Some Louse Flies feed on the blood of sheep, and others prey upon birds like pigeons.

Bite of a Louse Fly

Bite of a Louse Fly

Dear Daniel,
Ur reply and cooperation is much appreciated.
This explanation makes sense as we were invaded by Pigeons in the last 6 months in the roof of our building ( we live in the  last floor).
We are trying to get rid of them, but not yet.
So do u think we should use now any type of insect killer or should we bring a specialised company for that, or just leave it.
Thanks
Motasem

Hi again Motasem,
In our opinion, if you get rid of the pigeons, you won’t have to worry about the Louse Flies.  They are not interested in human blood unless they can’t get pigeon blood.  We believe they will die out on their own if there are no longer any pigeons to drop new flies on a regular basis.