Alaska Department of Fish and Game
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Parasites and Diseases
A Field Guide
TO COMMON WILDLIFE DISEASES
AND PARASITES IN ALASKA
|What causes small open wounds on the hind legs of moose?|
- These wounds are caused by a biting fly commonly known as the moose fly. Its scientific name is Haematobosca alcis. Moose flies are slightly smaller than a common housefly.
|Where are the flies found?|
- The flies are found wherever moose are found in Alaska.
- Apparently, the flies do not attack other members of the deer family (such as deer, elk, or caribou).
|What are the signs of moose fly attacks?|
- The flies bite the hindquarters of moose just above the hock. Hundreds of flies may attack a moose at one time. The numerous bites produce wet open sores, measuring up to 1 inch in diameter. The wounds are often bloody.
|How can I protect myself?|
- The flies do not attack humans.
|Can I eat the meat?|
- Neither the flies nor the wounds affect the edibility of the meat in any way. The meat is safe to eat.
|Samples to collect|