Simulium yahense black flies infected with microfilaria of Onchocerca volvulus were kept in a defined insectary environment in Liberia, West Africa. A daily sample of infected flies was dissected for larvae developing in the thoracic muscles and examined for growth in stadial development. Microfilariae ingested by black flies transformed to the L1 larval stage without molting. Successive larval development included molting to the L2 stage and, finally, to the L3 stage, which was infective in humans. The cephalic cap, consisting of a laterally located hook and central stoma, occurs in the first larval stage. The caudal appendix and the laterally located anal opening are apparent in the L1 larva. In the L2 stage, the cephalic cap is lost and the large circular stoma becomes surrounded with elevated flaps. The caudal appendix was lost after larvae molted to the L3 stage, and in its place, 3 terminal papillae developed. Sense organs, such as 2 opposing phasmids and 8 papillae that were arranged into 2 circles, developed in the cephalic region of the L3 larva. The evidence of pathological consequences due to the presence of the L3 larva in the fly host are illustrated and discussed.
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