DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Botfly infection of a rodent. The swelling is where a larva has established itself under the rodent's skin after hatching from an egg laid by a Cuterebra botfly. The egg is not laid directly on the host, but hatches due to body heat as the host comes into contact with it resulting in the larva attempting to crawl onto its host. The larva takes several weeks to develop once established, growing in size and eventually exiting through the hole seen here (called the warble pore). The rodent is usually unharmed and the pore will heal unless secondary bacterial infection occurs. The Cuterebra botflies specialise in infecting rodents. Photographed in Ecuador.
Model release not required. Property release not required.