Louse Fly from England

Whats that bug on my wall?
June 10, 2009
Its about 1cm including legs, my girlfriend thought it was a spider till I looked closer at it, just curious what it was.
Gav, UK
exeter uk

Louse Fly
Louse Fly

Hi Gav,
We apologize for the delay.  This is a Louse Fly in the family Hippoboscidae but we are uncertain what species.  They are sometimes called Keds.  There is a close matching photo on BugGuide of Lipoptena mazamae, the Deer Ked, but we could not be certain of the species you have discovered.  In addition to deer, Louse Flies are also often associated with sheep and horses, and they are generally host specific.  Here is what BugGuide has to say about the Deer Ked: “Deer keds have a very interesting reproductive strategy. The female produces one larva at a time and retains the developing larva in her body until it is ready to pupate. The larva feeds on the secretions of a “milk gland” in the uterus of its mother. After three larval instars, the larva has reached its maximum size, the mother gives birth to the white pre-pupa which immediately begins to darken and form the puparium or pupal shell. The pupa falls from the deer and is usually deposited where the deer bedded. When the fly has completed its metamorphosis, the winged adult emerges from the puparium and flies in search of a host. After finding a host the adult fly breaks off its wings and is now permanently associated with that one deer. Both sexes feed on the blood of the host deer. They can live on a deer for up to 6 months.” Here is a link to a Sheep Ked (Melophagus ovinus) website.

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bugman

BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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