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Species Lipoptena mazamae - Neotropical Deer Ked

Hippoboscid - Lipoptena mazamae Deer ked - Lipoptena mazamae Lipoptena mazamae - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Calyptratae)
Superfamily Hippoboscoidea
Family Hippoboscidae (Louse Flies)
Subfamily Lipopteninae
Genus Lipoptena
Species mazamae (Neotropical Deer Ked)
Other Common Names
Deer Keds, Deer Ticks
Family names: Louse Flies, Bird Ticks, Tick Flies (Note: these flies are *Not* ticks.)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Species described in 1878 by Camillo Róndani (1808 – 1879), an Italian entomologist.
Explanation of Names
Hipp, -o is Greek for a horse (1)
bosc is Greek for feed

Lip, -o is Greek for fat (of course)
pten is Greek for feathered, winged (1)

The specific name, mazamae, is a reference to its host deer genus in the tropics, Mazama spp. The largest is the Red Brocket Deer (Mazama americana). (info on M. americana). Other tropical hosts: M. guazupita, M. simplicicornis Illiger, M. tema Rafin. (Maa, 1969)
Three spp. per Arnett (1985) (2)
Lipoptena cervi Linnaeus 1758 - Northeast
Lipoptena depressa Say 1823 - West
Lipoptena mazamae Rondani 1878 - Southeast to Texas
females 3.5-4.5 mm
male 3 mm body length
Southeastern United States north at least to Virginia and west to Oklahoma and Texas. South to northern Argentina.
This fly is a common obligate ectoparasite of New World deer. It has been collected on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from the southeastern United States to Brazil (Bequaert 1942) and other deer species in the tropics.
Life Cycle
Deer keds have a very interesting reproductive strategy. The female produces one larva at a time and retains the developing larva in her body until it is ready to pupate. The larva feeds on the secretions of a "milk gland" in the uterus of its mother. After three larval instars, the larva has reached its maximum size, the mother gives birth to the white pre-pupa which immediately begins to darken and form the puparium or pupal shell. The pupa falls from the deer and is usually deposited where the deer bedded. When the fly has completed its metamorphosis, the winged adult emerges from the puparium and flies in search of a host. After finding a host the adult fly breaks off its wings and is now permanently associated with that one deer. Both sexes feed on the blood of the host deer. They can live on a deer for up to 6 months.
Print References
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.
Drummond, R.O. 1966. Lipoptena mazamae Rondani (Diptera: Hippoboscidae), a louse fly of deer, on cattle in southwestern Texas. Journal of Parasitology, 52: 825.
Maa, T.C. 1969. A Revised Checklist and Concise Host Index of Hippoboscidae (Diptera). Pacific Insects Monograph, 20: 261-299. PDF - Note: this is a large file
Reeves, W.K., M.P. Nelder, K.D. Cobb, G.A. Dasch. 2006. Bartonella spp. in deer keds, Lipoptena mazamae (Diptera:Hippoboscidae), from Georgia and South Carolina, USA. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 42(2): 391-396. [PDF]
Samuel, W.M., A.A. Kocan, M.J. Pybus & J.W. Davis. 2001. Parasitic Diseases of Wild Mammals, Second Edition. Blackwell Publishing, Boston. 559 pp. Google Preview
Samuel, W.M., & D.O. Trainer. 1972. Lipoptena mazamae Rondani, 1878 (Diptera: Hippoboscidae) on white-tailed deer in southern Texas. Journal of Medical Entomology, 9: 104–106.
Internet References
Neotropical deer ked- Featured Creatures
Dorsal Female Photo (sans wings) - by Karen Wheeler, University of Florida
Dorsal Male Photo (sans wings) - by Karen Wheeler, University of Florida
Works Cited
1.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
2.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.