Haematobia spp

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Adult Haematobia flies

Haematobia are a parasitic buffalo fly which causes skin disease as well as causing secondary infection by Chrysomya spp screw-worms in cattle in south-east Asia and Australiaworldwide[1].

Species of Haematobia which have been recognized as disease causing in cattle include:

  • H. irritans exigua

Buffalo flies cause 'worry' to cattle and bite wounds may provide secondary screw-worm infestations by Chrysomyia bezziana. No evidence exists to suggest their implication in mechanical spread of diseases such as bovine viral diarrhea[2].

Topical insecticides such as pyrethrins (eg, cypermethrin or cyfluthrin) help control these parasites[3]. They appear relatively resistant to organophosphates[4].

Vaccines are currently being develop against the fly salivary antigens and experimental results are promising[5].


  1. Merck Vet Manual
  2. Chamorro MF et al (2011) Evaluation of transmission of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) between persistently infected and naive cattle by the horn fly (Haematobia irritans). Vet Res Commun 35(2):123-129
  3. Borges FA et al (2008) Endectocide activity of a new long-action formulation containing 2.25% ivermectin+1.25% abamectin in cattle. Vet Parasitol 155(3-4):299-307
  4. Foil LD et al (2010) Detection of target site resistance to pyrethroids and organophosphates in the horn fly using multiplex polymerase chain reaction. J Med Entomol 47(5):855-861
  5. Cupp MS et al (2010) Salivary gland thrombostasin isoforms differentially regulate blood uptake of horn flies fed on control- and thrombostasin-vaccinated cattle. J Med Entomol 47(4):610-617