Glossinidae (tsetse fly; order Diptera, suborder Cyclorrapha)
Family of flies which are well known as important carriers of disease organisms, e.g. the flagellate protozoon Trypanosoma
, which causes sleeping sickness. The adults are moderately sized, with aristae
adorned with feathered hairs. The mouth-parts are produced as a needle-like proboscis which is protected by a sheath when not in use to pierce host skin. The prosternum
is membranous in the adult. Female tsetse flies feed on a wide range of animal blood, and produce mature larvae which develop within a ‘uterus’. The deposited, full-grown larva buries itself in the ground and pupates. Different species of Glossina
may carry specific forms of Trypanosoma
which vary in their virulence and periodicity. Tsetse flies
occur in Africa. Only 22 species have been described so far.
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