his was a black and white insect my kindergarteners found on the playground equipment today. It was just sitting there- it doesn’t seem able to fly very well- damaged wings, maybe? It has a furry looking white thorax, speckled-black abdomen, and large red eyes similar to that of a horsefly.
Shannon Svoboda’s Kindergarteners
Your fly is the rabbit bot fly. And as the name suggests it is a parasite of the rabbit, usually found on the neck, shoulder or rump of the rabbit.
Shannon – not sure how much you want to share of this with the kids…you know your class!
The eggs are deposited on the animal skin then the larva burrow in just under the skin.
One kind of bot fly attracted to rabbits in the wild will also lay eggs near rabbit habitat, on leaves or stems of normal vegetation. These eggs hatch when a rabbit brushes against them. When the eggs hatch, larva move in around the rabbit’s neck or under the jaw where they burrow under the skin to eat flesh and grow.
There are similar flies that get on other mammals even humans in southern countries.
We use to see them on our cattle when growing up on a farm in central Indiana.