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Little is known of the life-history of many parasitic species. This hinders a full understanding of host-parasitic interactions. The common swift louse fly, Crataerina pallida Latreille (Diptera: Hippoboscidae), an obligate haematophagous parasite of the Common Swift, Apus apus Linnaeus 1758, is one such species. No detrimental effect of its parasitism upon the host has been found. This may be because too little is known about C. pallida ecology, and therefore detrimental effects are also unknown. This is a review of what is known about the life-history of this parasite, with the aim of promoting understanding of its ecology. New, previously unreported observations about C. pallida made from personal observations at a nesting swift colony are described. Unanswered questions are highlighted, which may aid understanding of this host-parasite system. C. pallida may prove a suitable model species for the study of other host-parasite relationships.