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Rabbit Bot Fly  - Cuterebra lepusculi - male

Rabbit Bot Fly - Cuterebra lepusculi - Male
Carrollton(Dallas), Denton County, Texas, USA
October 15, 2011
Size: 1" from head wingtip

Images of this individual: tag all
Rabbit Bot Fly  - Cuterebra lepusculi - male Rabbit Bot Fly  - Cuterebra lepusculi - male Rabbit Bot Fly  - Cuterebra lepusculi - male Rabbit Bot Fly  - Cuterebra lepusculi - male

Moved from ID Request.

Cuterebra lepusculi male
Hi Greg,
Thanks so much for sending these photos to BugGuide. Really nice series of a new botfly for BugGuide! This bot is a rabbit botfly with a wide range but not very often seen. These have been found from Washington State to South Dakota, south to California to Texas (plus at least one record from TX. Their known hosts are cottontail rabbits, Sylvilagus nuttallii and recently S. audubonii (the desert cottontail) was also found as a host by Pfaffenberger (1988)in New Mexico. Craig Baird (1983) worked out and published on the biology of the species.
Love the lid shot, as it shows the two spots in the red eyes. This disapears shortly after death. Only the rabbit bots have red spots in their eyes, so for live specimens this is a big help to ID. This species is similar to C. buccata (see BugGuide for pics), but the key is the U shaped white fringe on the back (in bug jargon this would be on the mesoscutum). This species is also similar to C. princeps and C. ruficrus, but both of these species have red in the legs. Yours is clearly all black. From your top down shots, yours appears to be a male by the spacing between the eyes. This is especially nice, as males are poorly represented in collections. Sabrosky found 14 males and 57 females in collections, but their may be more in places he never visited? Its surprising that this bot is not better represented, given its wide distribution in the west, and that it uses a fairly common host.
A really fun find. This one made my day. Love the lid shot! The only color photos I know of this species are by Dr. Craig Baird. His shows multiple black dots on the white sides. I haven't worked with this species enough to know if these dots are tied to gender, or if they are variable. Hope more pics show up from other regions of this species.
Thanks for a wonderful post. A great addition to BugGuide!

Jeff Boettner
Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences
115 Ag. Eng. Bld.
250 Natural Resources Road
Amherst, MA 01003

wonderful indeed!
thanks, Greg and Jeff

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