Dermatobia hominis



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Domain: Eukaryotes- The word eukaryote contains the Latin root words "Eu" meaning true and "karya" meaning nucleus.  All members within this domain are distinguished by containing a true nucleus. Another significant feature is the presence of membrane bound organelles (Campbell et al. 2007)

Kingdom: Animalia- This kingdom includes multicellular heterotrophs, meaning that they need to ingest food for acquisition of nutrients. Dermatobia hominis is a heterotroph but more specifically has a parasitic larval stage. Lack of a cell wall is another defining characteristic of the animal kingdom. Notable members of this group are Giraffes, Giant Pandas, Chickens, and Penguins.

Phylum: Arthropoda- Arthropoda is the largest and most diverse animal phylum. The phylum arthropoda contains invertebrate organisms that exhibit: segmented bodies, jointed appendages, growth by molting and have a bilaterally symmetrical body plan. All arthropods also share the feature of having an exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is made up of chitin and is provides many important roles for arthropods including: offering protection, sites for muscle attachment, and prevention of water loss (Campbell et al. 2007). Other members within this group include Ticks, Spiders, and Beetles

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Class: Insecta- Members within this class are identified by having three pairs of legs. All insects have a segmented body which can be broken down into three main parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen.  Compound eyes and a single antenna are also characteristics that are found in insects. Dermatobia hominis exhibits a very specialized antenna, which will be discussed more in Habitat

Order: Diptera- As a group Diptera are most commonly referred to as true flies. The most distinguishable characteristic for the Diptera are their wings. Diptera possess two wings for flight and a second pair of non-functioning wings called halteres. Diptera life cycle is unique in the aspect that there is a major metamorphosis from larvae to full body winged adult. Fun fact: Organisms within Diptera are known as true flies which does not include organisms such as butterflies or dragonflies. An easy way to distinguish between real flies and non-dipteran flies is that real flies are written as one word such as a botfly. Examples of organisms within this group is a Horsefly and a Cranefly

Family: Oestridae- Oestridae are commonly known as botflies or warbleflies. All members of Oestridae during their larval stage are obligate parasites. The eggs of the flies are carried by an arthropod vector and infest under the mammal host’s skin feeding on their tissues, this is known as myasis. The adult botfly does not feed on anything due to a dysfunctional mouth, instead relying on reserve food from larval stage (Pape, 2001). An example of an organism within this group is a Warblefly

Genus: Dermatobia- The genus Dermatobia only includes one organism, Dermatobia hominis. Dermatobia is found within the subfamily Cuterebrinae which includes large parasitic botflies. Dermatobia is unique in the aspect that it routinely parasitizes larger mammals including humans (Maier, 2004)


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Species: Dermatobia hominis- D. hominis has many names including: human botfly, torsalo, berne, and many other regional names (Lane, 1987). D. hominis exhibits a three stage larval development, all of which are parasitic. As mentioned previously the distinguishing characteristic of D. hominis is the common interactions with humans.


Now that you are familiar with the classification of Dermatobia hominis and its characteristics understanding the scientific name will be a piece of cake! Dermatobia is a combination of the Greek words derma meaning skin and bios meaning life, while hominis is Latin for of humans.


Now that you have read about the Classification continue to Habitat