Other Common Names
Neotropical deer louse fly
Explanation of Names
Lipoptena mazamae Rondani, 1878
mazamae - a reference to the species' host in the tropics, Brocket deer (Mazama spp.)
se US (TX-FL-VA-OK) / Mexico to Argentina (2)
common obligate ectoparasite of white-tailed deer (2)
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.
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. (2)
Reeves et al. 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., & D.O. Trainer. 1972. Lipoptena mazamae Rondani, 1878 (Diptera: Hippoboscidae) on white-tailed deer in southern Texas. Journal of Medical Entomology, 9: 104–106.
Neotropical deer ked
- Featured Creatures - William H. Kern, Jr., 2014