Thursday, March 11, 2010

Puma with botfly?

Finally, an image from MY camera, or at least the one Ben has loaned me. This is one (of three) images of a male puma, exiting the Horse Trail (so called because it is a popular riding route) near Gallon Jug farm. In the subsequent images, the puma takes a hard left and evidently continues on the Hillbank road.

When I get a new image, I scan it carefully to see what can be learned about the animal. In this case we have an adult male who looks, overall, to be in good condition. By zooming in, I can see that his left ear has a sore spot with some hair worn away -- I'm guessing it is likely a a botfly larva (Dermatobia hominis, aka "beefworm" in Belize). Pumas seem more prone to botfly infestation than jaguars. On the other hand, a botfly bump is probably more visible on the plain coat of the puma than a spotted cat.

Now you are wondering about botflies. If you have a strong stomach, check out details of its life history -- and extraction -- in this video.

Prepare to be grossed out!

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