Louse Fly

Unknown Bug Bit Me!
Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 1:54 PM
Hi there!
I was out enjoying an unusually mild day here in the Catskills and some time later after I got home and sat down at the computer, I felt a bite on the small of my back. I pulled this bug off me (and it really held on, too) and squished it in retalliation. Now I’m looking at this strange critter and I have no idea what the heck it is. When I described it to my girlfriend she thought it sounded like some large variety of tick, but the leg segments look more like those of a spider. When she saw it in person, she was just as dumbstruck as I was. Attached are some close-up photos of the little biter, but I am thinking there is a possibility that a body segment is missing from when I killed it. I hope you can help us identify this weird thing (and tell me if I should be going to the doctor or not). Thanks a million.
Casey & Sara
Pine Hill, NY – Catskill Mtns

Louse Fly
Louse Fly

Hi Casey and Sara,
Your photo makes it a bit difficult to identify your biter, but we suspect this is a Louse Fly.  Louse Flies are blood sucking ectoparasites whose usual hosts are deer.  The Louse Fly has very feeble wings, and generally loses the wings once it finds a host.  Your specimen was acting opportunistically and when it did not locate a deer, it went for the next best warm blooded host.

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