U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version

November 2001


Published in Vet. Res. 32 (2001) 525–531.


Oestrus ovis (L.) (Diptera: Oestridae), the nasal bot fly, has a relatively short free-living life cycle outside of the host, and therefore it is necessary to know when the parasitic period occurs in order to prevent the clinical signs and economic losses caused by this parasite. The length of this parasitic portion of the life cycle is quite variable: a few weeks to several months depending on the season and climatic conditions. Surveys of Oestrus ovis larval populations in sheep show different results on the number of generations according to the local climate. Mean monthly larval profiles of L1 and L3 burdens of sheep from West African Sahelian countries, Mediterranean countries (Morocco, Tunisia and Sicily) and Southwest France were compared. Valuable information on the suspected extension of the fly season is obtained showing the period of infection in each area. This knowledge will be a valuable tool to help in choosing the right treatment at the right period.