Other Sarcophagidae

Other Sarcophagidae

Genus Wohlfahrtia
The most important myiasis causing species is the obligate parasite Wohlfahrtia magnifica which we have dealt with on a separate page. Wohlfahrtia nuba infests wounds of livestock in North Africa and the Middle East, but it probably feeds only on dead or diseased tissues rather than on living tissues (James, 1947). Wohlfahrtia vigil and W. meigeni (opaca) are North American species whose larvae tend to penetrate the hosts skin individually producing furuncles like Cordylobia (Alexander, 1984). Wohlfahrtia meigeni can be a serious pest of mink and fox in fur farms in North America (Knowlton, & Hall 1941; Gassner & James, 1948).

Genus Sarcophaga
Flies in the genus Sarcophaga sensu lato are very alike in all stages and extremely difficult to identify to species. Many species breed in excrement, carrion and other decomposing organic matter and may occasionally be involved in myiasis, but little is known of their larval stages.
Sarcophaga cruentata (= haemorrhoidalis) is one of the most common species and breeds mainly in faeces (Zumpt, 1965; Smith, 1986). Blaesoxipha plinthopyga is reported as a myiasis causing sarcophagid in Neararctic wildlife, including lizards, mule deer, and jack rabbits (Baumgartner, 1988).

Genus Cistudinomyia
Cistudinomyia cistudinis is parasitic on turtles and tortoises, but is probably of little economic importance with infestations rarely being large enough to cause death (Knipling, 1937). Larvae may penetrate at ongoing or previous sites of attachment of tortoise ticks.


Alexander, J. O'Donel 1984. Arthropods and human skin. 422 pp. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, Tokyo.

Baumgartner, D.L. 1988. Review of myiasis (Insecta: Diptera: Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae) of nearctic wildlife. Wildlife Rehabilitation 7: 3-46.

Gassner, F.X. & James, M.T. 1948. The biology and control of the fox maggot, Wohlfahrtia opaca (Coq). Journal of Parasitology 34: 44-50.

James M.T. (1947). The Flies that Cause Myiasis in Man. United States Department of Agriculture Miscellaneous Publication No. 631, USDA, 175 pp.

Knipling, E.F. 1937. The biology of Sarcophaga cistudinis Aldrich (Diptera), a species of Sarcophagidae parasitic on turtles and tortoises. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 39: 91-101.

Knowlton, G.F. & Hall, D.G. 1941. Flesh fly kills kit mink. Journal of Economic Entomology 34: 216

Smith, K.G.V. 1986. A manual of forensic entomology. 205 pp. British Museum (Natural History), London.

Zumpt F. (1965). Myiasis in Man and Animals in the Old World. Butterworths, London,UK, 267 pp.

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith