Explanation of Names
Cephenemyia Latreille 1818
Greek kephen 'drone bee' + myia 'fly'
5 spp. in our area, 13 total(1)
Adults are bumblebee mimics; like other members in the family, they do not have functional/visible mouthparts as they do not feed as adults.
most of NA excluding the Great Plains and parts of the se. US
Larvae are endoparasitic in deer, moose, and elk, particularly in the throat (retropharyngeal) pouches near the base of the tongue; adults are free-living
Larvae are the only feeding stages; adults do not feed.
Eggs hatch inside the female fly and the newly emerged larvae are deposited in the nostrils of a suitable host. These larvae quickly migrate through the nasal passages into the nasopharyngeal (throat) region, preferably in the throat (retropharyngeal) pouches (causing nasopharyngeal myiasis in the host), where they settle and develop. After development is complete, the mature larvae are expelled from the host and pupate in the soil. Adults emerge after 2-3 weeks; since they do not feed, their life span is short and mating quickly ensues to complete the life cycle. 2 generations have been reported from the north, with the duration of each life cycle varying with the season. The winter life cycle can take up to 6 months, while the summer life cycle, half of that time.
Usually the larvae do not cause considerable harm to the host other than mild irritation, but heavy infestation may be fatal to the host (death by suffocation) and consequently to the parasite.
Adults are among the fastest flying insects, with speeds of 25-50 mph (40-80 km/h) documented.