views updated May 21 2018

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.

tsetse flies

views updated May 23 2018

tsetse flies See GLOSSINIDAE.