Other Common Names
Louse Flies, Bird Ticks, Tick Flies (Note: these flies are *not* ticks.)
Explanation of Names
Hippoboscidae Samouelle 1819
from Hippobosca Linnaeus 1758 ('feeding on horses')
28 spp. in 12 genera in our area(1)
, >780 spp. in ~70 genera total(2)
This group includes wingless and winged forms. Most winged ones are dark brownish and smaller than house flies. Flat shape and leathery appearance.
blood of birds/mammals; host records in(3)
Females rear one offspring at a time, the larva feeding in utero
from special "milk" glands. The mature larva is "born alive" and immediately pupates in the soil (or on the host in some cases). Most are host specific on bird species, with a few occurring on mammals.(4)
Bequaert J. (1942) A monograph of the Melophaginae, or ked-flies, of sheep, goats, deer and antelopes (Diptera, Hippoboscidae). Entomologica Americana, 22: 1-220.
Bequaert J.C. (1957) The Hippoboscidae or louse-flies (Diptera) of mammals and birds. Part II. Taxonomy, evolution and revision of American genera and species. Entomologica Americana, 36: 417–611.
Dick C.W. (2006) Checklist of World Hippoboscidae (Diptera: Hippoboscoidea). Department of Zoology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. 7 pp.