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About Drosophilids

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General Morphology

Phortica variegata is a small, two-winged insect belonging to the family Drososphilidae, subfamily Steganinae. The key characteristics for morphological identification can be found in Otranto et al. (2006a).

In studies, it could be demonstrated that only P. variegata males may act as an intermediate host under natural conditions for Thelazia callipaeda (Otranto et al., 2006b). It was further speculated that the specificity in the development of T. callipaeda in male P. variegata might have biased the zoophilic behaviour of the fly (Otranto et al., 2006b). The secretophagous non-biting flies feed on the secretions of dogs, and may become infected with the L1 of T. callipaeda. Further development of the nematode will occur within the arthropod. For details see Pathogenesis and Transmission of T. callipaeda. The infective L3 of the nematode will be transmitted to a new vertebrate host during feeding of the fly on lachrymal secretions.

Further information

  • Otranto D, Brianti E, Cantacessi C, et al.: The zoophilic fruitfly Phortica variegata: morphology, ecology and biological niche. Med Vet Entomol., 2006a, 20, 358-64
  • Otranto D, Cantacessi C, Testini G, et al.: Phortica variegata as an intermediate host of Thelazia callipaeda under natural conditions: evidence for pathogen transmission by a male arthropod vector. Int J Parasitol. 2006b, 36, 1167-73

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