I have just searched BugGuide for Bufolucia and got no hits. Another search, for "silvarum" turned up a few images. Apparently the genus name of these fascinating calliphorid flies has changed (or is alternatively interpreted as) Lucilia. I was not previously aware that they also feed on / develop in carrion. I've encountered them only a few times as dense patches of white fusiform eggs attached to the dorsal surfaces (nape, back haunches) of an adult and two subadult American toads (Bufo americanus) here in east central Minnesota. I did not capture the adult to record the outcome but a small subadult with a gaping myiatic ulcer with maggots visible inside died and I reared one or more flies for identification (Bufolucilia silvarum) by entomology staff at the University of Minnesota. I understand there are at least two North American species and I believe one of them favors wood frogs as hosts. I have images of the subadult toad but not yet in digital form. Surely someone out there has more images?
Also, if indeed the outcome is always death of the host, then these flies would be better considered (specialized / facultative) predators rather than classic parasites. I know specialized / facultative is an odd juxtaposition of words, but it seems to fit.
Contributed by jim sogaard on 27 March, 2016 - 9:23am Last updated 27 March, 2016 - 12:31pm
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