Deer Nose Bots

Not exactly a disease, but adult deer can suffer, and possibly die from Deer nose botflies.

C. phobifer is the only species known to occur in Michigan. A survey in the 1970’s showed the parasite was quite common in adult deer in both Regions I and II in the spring, and rare in those from Region III. Deer less than 1 year old are not quite as apt to have nose botfly larvae as are adults.

The eggs of Cephenemyia hatch in the uterus of the female fly and while in flight she ejects minute larvae into the nostrils of the host deer. The larvae migrate to the retropharyngeal pouches which lie on either side of the throat at the base of the tongue. There they become attached in clusters and develop.

Behavior such as snorting and lowering of the head may indicate the migration of released mature larvae within the nasal passages. Nasal discharge and giddiness may also become evident. Occasionally, heavy infections may cause death by suffocation. Death may also result from detached larvae migrating to the lungs.

Learn more at Deer Nose Bots, Michigan DNR website.

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