Sheep Bot Fly Larva from Egypt

I have no idea what this bug is please help
Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 12:38 PM
Me and my dad slaughtered a sheep and when after we skinned the head we split ot open and there was this little guy in there. pretty gross right? I couldn’t believe it and have no idea what it is? how it got there? what it eats? and if it transforms into anything? How does it effect the sheep?
Thanks alot Mariam

Sheep Bot Fly Larva
Sheep Bot Fly Larva

Hi Mariam,
We believe this is a Sheep Bot Fly Larva, an endoparasite. We searched Bot Fly Egypt and came up with this online article on the species Oestrus ovis: “Ophthalmomyiasis caused by the sheep bot fly Oestrus ovis in northern Iraq.
Gregory AR ,Schatz S ,Laubach H .
U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.
Myiasis is the feeding of fly larvae on vertebrates. The sheep bot fly larva of Oestrus ovis is a mammalian parasite of the skin, nose, ears, and eyes. When the larvae infest and feed on the structures of the eye, the condition is termed ophthalmomyiasis. Most often this infestation is limited to the external structures of the eye and is referred to as ophthalmomyiasis externa. The features of this condition are severe local inflammation, positive foreign body sensation, erythema, and lacrimation. Vision may or may not be reduced, depending on involvement of the cornea. A 20-year-old white male soldier sought treatment for an inflamed eye and an irritated cornea OS. His eyelids were swollen with marked periorbital edema and conjunctival erythema OS. On slitlamp examination, small whitish organisms were viewed on the conjunctiva OS. The organisms were removed, preserved, and sent to Nova Southeastern University where they were identified as O. ovis first-stage larvae. The patient was treated with antibiotic ointment, and the inflammation resolved within 1 week. O. ovis has a worldwide distribution, and although sheep are the preferred host, humans may also serve as an intermediate host in the organism’s life cycle. This case represents one of several reports of ophthalmomyiasis in the Middle East caused by O. ovis. U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and surrounding areas are vulnerable to eye infestation by fly larvae, and health care providers need to include this condition in their differential diagnosis of anterior segment inflammatory disorders. ”  You may also want to look at Dennis Kunkel’s Microscopy image of the head of a Sheep Bot Fly Larva.

Leave a Comment