Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera


  • M. D. Soler Cruz
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_4753

This term was first used in 1840 to refer to human diseases originating from dipterous (fly) larvae. More recently, it has been described as the infestation of live vertebrate animals with fly larvae, which, at least for a certain period, feed on the host’s dead or living tissue, liquid body substances, or ingested food. Myiasis begins when gravid female flies are attracted by the odors of infested wounds, decaying organic matter, feces, urine, and human food, where they deposit larvae or eggs. There are two principal ways to classify myiasis: entomologically and anatomically.

An Entomological Classification of Myiasis

Myiasis can be classified according to the relationship or level of dependence between the larvae and the host:

Specific or Obligatory Myiasis

This is caused by flies that can develop only on live hosts. Included in this group are members of Oestridae and Sarcophagidae.

Semi-Specific or Facultative Myiasis

This is caused by facultative or opportunistic parasitic flies...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Beaver PC, Jung RC, Cupp EW (1986) Parasitología Clínica. Salvat Editores. Barcelona, Spain, 882 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. Gállego Berenguer, J (1998) Manual de parasitología. Edicions Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, 491 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Hall (1991) Screwworm flies as agents of wound myiasis. World Anim Rev. Special 2:6–17Google Scholar
  4. Richards OW, Davies RG (1977) IMMS general textbook of entomology. Vol. 2. Classification and biology. Wiley, New York, NY, 1354 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Teskey HJ (1981) Morphology and terminology-larvae. In: MacAlpine JF, Peterson BV, Shewell GE, Teskey GJ, Vockeroth JR, Wood DM (eds) Manual of nearctic Diptera, Vol. 1. Monograph 27. Agriculture Canada Research Branch, Ottawa, Canada, pp 65–88Google Scholar
  6. Zump F (1965) Myiasis in man and animals in the Old World. Butterworths, London, United Kingdom. 267 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. Soler Cruz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GranadaGranadaSpain