Congo floor maggot

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Congo floor maggot
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Calliphoridae
Genus: Auchmeromyia
Species: A. senegalensis
Binomial name
Auchmeromyia senegalensis
Macquart, 1775
A Congo floor maggot. Coloured drawing by A.J.E. Terzi, ca 1919.

The Congo floor maggot (Auchmeromyia senegalensis) is a species of blow-fly that is native to sub Saharan Africa and the Cape Verde Islands.

A. sengalensis is an atypical myiasis species which does not live on or in the host, but sucks the blood of burrow-dwelling wild pigs, warthogs, aardvark, hyena and occasionally sleeping humans (sanguinivorous myiasis). Auchmeromyia is the only known genus of blood sucking maggot to feed on mammals although others feed on birds. There are five described species in the genus.

Female flies lay their eggs on dry earth or the earthen floors of huts. Larvae feed for about twenty minutes, sometimes daily, and then fall to the ground. There are three larval instars and pupation lasts two weeks. The entire life cycle takes ten weeks and is continuous throughout the year. Fully grown maggots are 18 mm long. Male flies have an exceptionally long second segment and widely separated eyes.

Whilst causing irritation and swelling Congo floor maggots are not known to transmit disease. Bites are easily avoided by providing beds.

References[edit]

  • Goddard,J., 2007 Physician's Guide to Arthropods of Medical Importance Fifth Edition, 2007 ISBN 978-0-8493-8539-1