Hippelates spp

From Cow
Adult Hippelates flies on the leg of a calf

Hippelates are a parasitic haematophagous eye gnat which causes pruritus as well as transmitting diseases in cattle worldwide[1].

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

  • H. pallipes [2]

Eye gnats are very small flies that often hover around the body orifices of calves, yearlings, pregnant heifers, and lactating cows. They feed on lacrimal fluid, fatty body secretions, milk droplets, and on secretions at the tips of the teats of animals.

Hippelates flies also serve as vectors for Trueperella spp (summer mastitis)[3] and Moraxella bovis (pinkeye).

Topical insecticides such as pyrethrins (eg, cypermethrin or cyfluthrin) help control these parasites[4].


  1. Merck Vet Manual
  2. Langley PA (1975) Pathogen transmission in relation to feeding and digestion by haematophagous Arthropods. Acta Trop 32(2):116-124
  3. Sanders DA (1940) Musca domestica and Hippelates flies - vectors of bovine mastitis. Science 92(2387):286
  4. 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