Advice What is Gasterophilus spp? The bot fly looks similar to a bumblebee with a hairy head and can be yellow and brown, black and white or black and yellow. Your horse may not have any symptoms at all, but some bots can carry diseases or produce an infection that may create serious side effects. Also, the pain and irritation to the stomach may cause loss of appetite, which can affect nutrition and performance. The eggs are laid in areas where your horse can and will lick while grooming and this helps with the hatching stage and then transfers them to the mouth, where they will eventually make it into the stomach where they will hang out until the weather is warm again. Gasterophilus spp is a very common condition in horses caused by the bot fly Oestridae.
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Within the United Kingdom there are three species of veterinary importance; G. Gasterophilus larvae Lamiot , Wikimedia Commons Identification Gasterophilus are medium to large flies at mm long, and are thought to look similar to drone bumble bees.
They have clear wings with brown patches, and produce creamy-white eggs, around mm in length Adults have non-functional mouthparts so cannot feed. Both G. Life Cycle Eggs are laid on the body of the host and either hatch spontaneously or are stimulated to hatch through an increase in warmth and moisture from the animal self-grooming.
They are laid in different areas according to species; G. The development of L1 into L2 occurs on the pharynx. L2 then attaches to the base of the tongue and slowly migrates to the stomach. L3 attaches to the squamous gastric mucosa along the margo plicatus, in the case of G. The larvae then remain and develop within the stomach for around months. They mature in the following spring or early summer generally between May and September , detach from their surface and are passed out in the host faeces.
Gasterophilus Notafly , Wikimedia Commons The larvae then penetrate the soil, where they transform into pupae and the flies hatch 30 to 40 days later. They are only found on pasture, as they do not survive well on stable bedding.
The pupae are known to be sensitive to frost, moisture and flooding, so the environmental conditions present play a significant role in the success of the parasite. Gasterophilus spp. Learning Resources.
Gasterophilus spp in Horses
There are six species of Gasterophilus: G. Ranges through the Old World and infects the mouth, tongue, esophagus and stomach of horses, donkeys and zebras Larva[ edit ] In the third larval stage, the larvae have a length that can go from 1. They have a hooked mouthpart that allows them to attached into the gastrointestinal tract of the infected animal and a rounded body that is covered with spines rows, which quantity varies from different species. After this stage, the larva is excreted with the animal feces in the form of a pupa. Although they have non-functional mouthparts, the reason why they are unable to feed themselves . Life cycle[ edit ] The first stage: During the summer months, the full-grown Gasterophilus laid them eggs over the hair, face, and extremities of their future host these eggs are laid on different portions of the body according to the various Gasterophilus species. Due to the animal grooming that starts after seven days from its laid  , the hatched larvae end up in the host mouth and tongue where they get attached for more than a month before being ingested.