AskDefine | Define warble

Dictionary Definition

warble n : a lumpy abscess under the hide of domestic mammals caused by larvae of a botfly or warble fly


1 sing or play with trills, alternating with the half note above or below [syn: trill, quaver]
2 sing by changing register; sing by yodeling; "The Austrians were yodeling in the mountains" [syn: yodel, descant]

User Contributed Dictionary




Middle English


  1. (Military) In naval mine warfare, the process of varying the frequency of sound produced by a narrow band noisemaker to ensure that the frequency to which the mine will respond is covered. Also a Noun with the same definition.
  2. to modulate a tone's frequency
  3. to sing like a bird, especially with trills.


  • (to modulate a tone's frequency): trill


  1. a lesion under the skin of an animal, caused by a bot fly

Extensive Definition

Warble fly is a name given to the genus Hypoderma, large flies which are parasitic on cattle and deer. Other names include "heel flies", "bomb flies", and "gad flies", while their larvae are often called "cattle grubs". Common species of warble fly include Hypoderma lineatum and Hypoderma bovis.
Adult warble flies are large, hairy and bee-like; brown, orange or yellow in color.
They are found in all continents of the northern hemisphere, principally between 25 and 60 degrees latitude.
"Warblefly" is also the name of an English folk/rock/punk band.


The fly will lay eggs on the foreleg of the affected cattle. These will be ingested by licking, and be swallowed. Internal cycle involves the passing oesophagus muscles and spinal cord before subcutaneous re-emerging.
When they re-emerge, the larvae cause many swellings ("warbles") under the skin, causing some harm to animals, but not as a general disease. It doesn't burrow into the flesh, but stays under the skin (hence, its scientific name Hypoderma). Nevertheless, when accidentally destroyed by pressure, the larvae can cause large purulent swellings.
From the subcutaneous swelling, the warble will puncture the skin when coming out of the bovine. From those numerous holes, the hide is rendered valueless.
Unlike Lucilia larvae, migrating grubs generally don't cause any damage in the meat, but growing animals may have a lower daily weight gain. Milk yields may also suffer, but in adult cows, the infestation is generally limited, due to immunisation following the first infestation, as a calf.
Warble fly has been eradicated in many countries, beginning from Denmark and Western Germany, in the 1960s. They have also been eradicated from the United Kingdom., as well as from Belgium. The method was the pour on application of a organophosphorus compound.
From the 1980s, the preventive treatment is easier, by subcutaneous use of Ivermectin, but the warble fly remains present in North Africa.

See also


External links

warble in Czech: Střeček
warble in German: Hautdasseln
warble in French: Hypoderme (insecte)
warble in Dutch: Runderhorzel
warble in Polish: Giez bydlęcy
warble in Walloon: Waerbea (Hypoderma bovis)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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