They are a temperate zone species that resides in forested areas. More specifically,is more prevalent in secondary growth mixed forests than in low mature coniferous forests. In Mississippi, the species resides in bottomland or flatland regions as well as hardwood habitats.
Adult Sciurus, including eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) and eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus). In squirrels, larvae develop in the axillary and back regions, while in chipmunks, larvae are prevalent in the genital or groin region. Each host is observed to have between one to three larvae. Some atypical hosts of other Cuterebra species include raccoons, cats, dogs, and humans; however, there is no evidence that utilizes these hosts. ("Cuterebra emasculator Fitch (Insecta: Diptera: Oestridae)", 2007; Jacobson, et al., 1981; Slanksy, 2006)are free-living, while the larvae are subcutaneous parasites that live in encapsulated pockets called warbles. The species’ typical hosts include tree squirrels (
- Terrestrial Biomes
- Other Habitat Features
The white oblong eggs of squirrel bot flies are approximately 1.5 millimeters long. The legless larvae, called bots, are 2 to 4 millimeters long. The first larval instar is grayish-white and encircled by black spiked bands. The second larval instar is cream-colored. As the larva develops into the third instar, it eventually becomes sclerotized and the cream color darkens into brown. It possesses two black mouth hooks and is covered with cuticular platelets. It reaches the length of 20 to 42 millimeters long during the pre-pupal stage. The pupal stage is defined by hardened puparium. It remains the dark brown color and possesses two yellow anterior spiracles. Adult bot flies are relatively large, with broad black bodies measuring 16 to 22 millimeters long. They possess black wings and yellow thorax, thus they visually resemble bumblebees. This species exhibits no sexual dimorphism. ("Cuterebra emasculator Fitch (Insecta: Diptera: Oestridae)", 2007; Bennett, 1955)
- Sexual Dimorphism
- sexes alike
- Range length
- 16 to 22 mm
- 0.63 to 0.87 in
- Development - Life Cycle
There is little information on the mating systems of.
Cuterebra species wait at distinctive locations in the habitat, such as stems of vegetation, and wait for females. It is unknown whether or not also exhibits this behavior. Females presumably deposit eggs in the environment frequented by hosts, such as the entrances of burrows on branches and vegetation. Bot flies in general have relatively high fecundity, often producing more than 1,000 eggs per female. ("Cuterebra emasculator Fitch (Insecta: Diptera: Oestridae)", 2007; Bennett, 1955)is a semelparous species that only breeds once during its short lifespan. Breeding takes place in the spring after the adults hatch emerge from their pupal case. The adults then breed over the following weeks, and die when winter comes. Males of other
- Breeding interval
- breeds once yearly.
- Breeding season
- breeds during spring, which varies geographically.
- Average eggs per season
After females oviposit their eggs, there is no further parental investment by either adult.
- Parental Investment
- no parental involvement
Cuterebra life spans are generally short, as adult bot flies' only purpose is to reproduce. Adults hatch during the spring after overwintering as pupae, and will mate and lay eggs only once before dying shortly afterward. ("Cuterebra emasculator Fitch (Insecta: Diptera: Oestridae)", 2007)
- Average lifespan
- 1 years
- Average lifespan
Exact home range foris unknown.
Communication and Perception
While within their hosts, larvae consume interstitial fluid and possibly cellular debris and leukocytes. ("Cuterebra emasculator Fitch (Insecta: Diptera: Oestridae)", 2007; Slanksy, 2007)adults are free-living but do not bite nor feed; in fact, they lack functional mouths.
- Primary Diet
- eats body fluids
- Animal Foods
- body fluids
Although infection by ("Cuterebra emasculator Fitch (Insecta: Diptera: Oestridae)", 2007; Bennett, 1955; Jacobson, et al., 1981; Slanksy, 2006)larvae may cause anemia in their host and secondary bacterial infection of open wounds may occur, their presence causes little negative impact on the host population as a whole.
- Ecosystem Impact
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
There are no known positive effects ofon humans.
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Currently, there are no conservation concerns regarding.
U-Bin Li (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Heidi Liere (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, John Marino (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Barry OConnor (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Rachelle Sterling (editor), Special Projects.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
(as keyword in perception channel section) This animal has a special ability to detect heat from other organisms in its environment.
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
an organism that obtains nutrients from other organisms in a harmful way that doesn't cause immediate death
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
offspring are all produced in a single group (litter, clutch, etc.), after which the parent usually dies. Semelparous organisms often only live through a single season/year (or other periodic change in conditions) but may live for many seasons. In both cases reproduction occurs as a single investment of energy in offspring, with no future chance for investment in reproduction.
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
living in residential areas on the outskirts of large cities or towns.
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
uses sight to communicate
UF/IFAS. Cuterebra emasculator Fitch (Insecta: Diptera: Oestridae). EENY-401. Lauderdale, Florida: UF/IFAS. 2007. Accessed April 01, 2010 at http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/flies/squirrel_bot_fly.htm.
Bennett, G. 1972. Further studies on the chipmunk warble, Cuterebra emasculator (Diptera: Cuterebridae). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 50/6: 861-864.
Bennett, G. 1972. Observations on the pupal and adult stages of Cuterebra emasculator Fitch (Diptera: Cuterebridae). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 50/11: 1367-1372.
Bennett, G. 1973. Some effects of Cuterebra emasculator Fitch (Dipter: Cuterebridae) on the blood and activity of its host, the Eastern chipmunk. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 9: 89-93.
Bennett, G. 1955. Studies on Cuterebra emasculator Fitch 1856 (Diptera: Cuterebridae) and a discussion of the status of the genus Cephenemyia. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 33: 75-98.
Jacobson, H., M. Hetrick, D. Gyunn. 1981. Prevalence of Cuterebra emasculator in squirrels in Mississippi. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 17/1: 78/87.
Slanksy, F. 2006. Cuterebra bot flies (Diptera: Oestridae) and their indigenous hosts and potential hosts in Florida. Florida Entomologist, 89/2: 152-159.
Slanksy, F. 2007. Insect/Mammal Associations: Effects of Cuterebrid Bot Fly Parasites on Their Hosts. Annual Review of Entomology, 52: 17-36.
Slanksy, F., L. Kenyon. 2002. Bot fly (Diptera: Cuterebridae) infestation of nest-bound infant eastern gray squirrels. Florida Entomologist, 85/2: 369-371.
Tommeras, B., A. Wibe, A. Nilssen, J. Anderson. 1993. the olfactory response of the reindeer nose bot fly, Cephenemyia trompe (Oestridae), to components form interdigital pheromone gland and urine form the host reindeer, Rangifer tarandus. Chemoecology, 4/2: 115-119.