Oestrus ovis
(Sheep nasal botfly)


  • Jebel Uweinat (all areas), on all visits

    The sheep nasal botfly had been observed on most visits to Jebel Uweinat in all areas and altitudes, but not at any of the other massifs of the central Libyan Desert. It is parasitic on the local population of Ammotragus lervia (Barbary sheep), laying it's larvae into the nasal passages, from where they are ejected by sneezing once reaching the pupal stage. Due to the scarcity of the host animal the species attacks humans (and presumably any other larger mammal) too, attempting to lay the larvae in one's eyes or mouth. It has caused several cases of ophtalmomyasis among our groups, however after careful removal of the larvae from the eyes with a clean tissue, no adverse symptoms remained (except for two isolated cases of secondary ophtalmia, which cured after administration of antibiotic eye drops in one day).

    Upper Karkur Talh (Jebel Uweinat),
    15th November, 2009
    (caught in spider's web)

      Ain Duarmé (Jebel Uweinat),
    18th November, 2010