Hydrotaea irritans

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Hydrotaea irritans
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Order Diptera
Family Trichodectidae

Also known as: Sheep headfly


Cattle, sheep, and horses. In cattle, it may be associtaed with the transmission of pathogens causing summer mastitis.


H. irritans is morphologically very similar in appearance to Musca, and is of the class Insecta. The adult flies are 4-7mm in length, have a green thorax and a yellow abdomen.

Life Cycle

The female lays eggs in the faeces, or decaying vegetation. Eggs hatch into larvae in the autumn, and begin to mature. However, development is haltered until the following spring. They then undergo pupation, and maturation is complete. Adults emerge in the summer.

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