This is the first time I have seen this on a moose.
This is the first time I have seen this on a moose.
“I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. “ Fred Bear
My buddy shot a bull in the valley last week and it had this on its leg, I was wondering the same thing as well. Does it affect the meat at all or just the skin?
Bot flies? Didn't realize they were prevalent in AK . . . but the Fish n Game website addresses them. If you look them up on youtube, there's plenty of videos with people getting the larvae removed from scalps . . . totally not appetizing . . lol.
The bot flies lay eggs under the skin that hatch into larvae. Those live inside the host for a while, but are not reported as not hazardous, consumption-wise . . . I"m not thinking they're fine table fare, so I'd carve 'em off and introduce them to my heel.
This was a cow in my front yard and she is still walking around somewhere out there, lol.
I myself have never seen this on them and I have lived around here for 50 years.
( I did give the pictures to the local Bio. and he said he'd get back to me. He's new from Mont. so it might take a bit.)
Nelchina caribou hides become riddled by botflies particularly on their backs. Early fall hides are full of the holes and barely healed scars. Later in the winter the scars are better healed-over. I have seen bot fly scars on the backs of moose hides from unit 13 as well but I believe the caribou are afflicted worse.
I have seen the warble fly larvae under the skin of caribou but not any moose I've harvested. I didn't realize that this parasite is also known as the botfly, but it is according to Wikipedia. AKDFG has some details on the warble fly at this link.
So I take it the Moose fly and the botfly are two differant spices. ( It says that the moose fly does not affect caribou )
Interesting thread- I did not know about the moose fly being a separate species. Here is another bit of info on the nose-bot fly (separate from the warble fly). http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=disease.head1
Moose flies are what many people refer to as horse flies. They bite like hell and drink blood. They do not lay eggs on the animal and the larvae do not live as parasites in a host animal.
Warble flies lay their eggs on the animal. The larvae enter the host animal and live inside for a time before boring out through the hide of the back.
According to Spartans website the moose fly is slightly SMALLER than the average house fly.
The horse fly is about 5 times bigger than the average house fly.
Just posting what I read.
Yes horseflies are big and are called moose flies, at least by some folks. Regardless I try to kill all the biting flies I can without regard to species.
Moose Flies a High-Summer Alaska Pest
By Ned Rozell | July 18, 2012
While boating down the Yukon River during the hottest summer recorded in Alaska (1915, when Fort Yukon reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit), missionary Hudson Stuck wrote about the wildlife that most bothered his party.
“With the failure of a little breeze and the overcasting of the sky, the weather grows oppressively sultry and a swarm of horse-flies, or moose-flies as they are called in these parts, makes appearance — large venomous insects that bite a piece out of one’s flesh when they alight.”
A century later, the helmeted flies the size of a moose nugget maintain a healthy presence along Alaska’s waterways. The flies from the family Tabanidae (called horse and deer flies in other places) drive moose to gallops of terror and cause annoyed dogs to pop their jaws, making a noise you never want to hear from a bear. The big flies seek mammals, including you, for meals of blood that allow them to produce more flies.
The creatures are stout enough to absorb the smack of a palm and then fly away. With evolved stealth, they feather-land on hairless skin. Soon after, the victim feels the pierce of a needle many times worse than a mosquito bite. Horse and deer-fly expert James Goodwin of Jarvis Christian College in Texas explains:
“The female’s mouthparts include two pairs of cutting blades,” he wrote in an email. “A female literally chews or cuts through the skin with these blades, creating a wound that serves as a pool which fills up with blood.”
If left unmolested — which almost never happens when a fly slices a human — the fly laps blood until its abdomen is about to burst. Biologist J.L. Webb, on assignment to study horse flies in California and Nevada in the 1920s, pulled out his stopwatch when he witnessed a fly on a “perfectly calm” cow. “The fly fed to apparent satiety in 11 minutes and 10 seconds,” Webb reported.
As is the case with mosquitoes and other biting flies that have prevented humans from overpopulating Alaska, the females are the ones to fear. The adult males have no flesh-cutting apparatus, surviving on a diet of nectar and pollen. From an evolutionary perspective it’s hard to fault the females in their quest for protein-rich meals. We are warm, slow-moving containers of their stuff of life.
Sensors on the flies’ large heads detect the carbon dioxide we emit and the heat of our bodies, along with our clothing and silhouettes and other features that make us stand out from the alder bushes. Their multicolored compound eyes sometimes feature bold stripes, which may be how males and females of the same species recognize one another.
Thirty to 40 different species of the giant flies buzz the air of Alaska, some of them the same type that harass cattle and horses in Texas. The winged adults only live three or four weeks here, just as they do down south. Entomologists have found the big flies everywhere on the planet except Hawaii, Greenland and Iceland.
And, while everyone in more southern places calls them horse flies, Hudson Stuck wrote that moose fly is a much better fit for the Alaska version.
“Here we are annoyed by them almost beyond endurance,” he wrote on his sweltering river trip of a century ago. “And not a horse within 100 miles.”