The Butterfly Palace, Inc.

Michael Gochfeld gochfeld at
Fri Jan 25 19:23:55 EST 2002

Well, how about Bot Flies.  I know several people who have gotten Bot Flies
(really their larvae) on their very first trip to the tropics.
Last winter, in northeastern Brazil, was the first time I encountered a Bot
Fly.  Now, of course I never saw the Fly, but about a week after I got home,
when most of the other insect bites had healed I had three large red sores on
my left hand.  Gradually they began to ooze, then weep, and finally I could
actually see the larvae with their hooks "breathing" at the entrance of their
lair(s).   It was very exciting, but after about a week it got old.  I had a
hand surgeon poke around for a while and give up.  So I covered them with
scotch tape, and the next morning they were very unhappy and were half out of
their holes (gasping perhaps, don't tell PETA). I was able to pop them out,
but they were still hooked in to the bottom of the whole.  They were about 15
mm long and 4-6 mm in diameter.

But, back to the point.  That was my first bot fly experience in over 26
months in the Neotropics, much of it in "rain forest" or former rain forest.

On the other hand, on the Manu were were nailed repeatedly by Sand Flies
whenever we landed our boat on the river bank.  Very unpleasant, bugwise, but
the butterflies were superb.

Mike Gochfeld

Richard Worth wrote:

> Oh, alright.  How about the classic:  bot flies laying eggs under
> your skin, then you can see first hand (first hand, then arm?) their
> progression as they grow.  I know more than one person who has had
> this happen.  The point was that we are so sheltered and many like it
> that way.  I suppose an earthquake could shatter the glass place,
> while inside, and cut someone to shreds or crush them.
> Cheers,  Rich
> PS.  A few years ago, a collecting group (Yes, COLLECTING GROUP, as
> in several people together with nets) in Ecuador found an 18 ft long
> Anaconda.  Very cool.
> >Of course in a real rain forest you could spend a very long time without
> >ever seeing a Fer De Lance and at some times of the year Army Ants are
> >in short supply also even in rain forest.  Mike Gochfeld
> Richard A. Worth
> Oregon Department of Agriculture
> Plant Division
> rworth at
> (503) 986-6461
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