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Glossinidae / Tsetse Fly

• Identification
• Life history
• Habits
• Public health importance
• Control mehtods
• Tsetse flies:
Tsetse flies, sometimes spelled tzetze and also
known as tik-tik flies, are large biting flies that
inhabit in Africa. They live by feeding on
the blood of vertebrate animals and are the
primary African biological
vectors of trypanosomes, which cause human
sleeping sickness called trypanosomiasis. Tsetse
include all the species in the genus Glossina,
which are generally placed in their own
family, Glossinidae.
• Identification:
• Tsetse flies occur tropical Africa.
• They are yellowish or dark brown,
• Medium-sized flies
• Length is 6–15 mm.
• They can be distinguished from other large biting Diptera
by their forward-pointing mouthparts.
• They bite only in daytime.
• Tsetse have a distinct proboscis, a long thin structure
attached to the bottom of the head and pointing forward.
• Habits:
Rest in shaded places at lower woody parts of
vegetation.
All tsetse flies, males as well as females, feed on
blood.
Tsetse flies are diurnal i.e only active during day
times.
Tsetse flies are active between the 18 to 32 oC
temperature
Life cycle:
The female tsetse fly does not lay eggs but produces
larvae, one at a time. The larva develops in the uterus
over a period of 10 days and is then deposited fully
grown on moist soil or sand in shaded places, usually
under bushes, fallen logs, large stones and roots. It
buries itself immediately and turns into a pupa. The fly
emerges 22–60 days later, depending on the
temperature. Females mate only once in their life and,
with optimum availability of food and breeding
habitats.
Public Health Importance:

Tsetse flies are found in countries of sub-Saharan


Africa putting 60 million people at risk. Tse tse flies
transmit pathogen Trypanosoma brucei
gambiense (T.b.g) andTrypanosoma brucei
rhodesiense (T.b.r.). Both the pathogen cause serious
disease called african trypanosomiasis or sleeping
sickness. In this disease central nervous system is
affected causing severe neurological disorders.
Without treatment the disease is fatal.
• Control:
• Mechanical control:
The mechanical control of tse tse flies involves
destruction of habitat. Tse tse flies grow on woody
vegetation and bushesh. Removal of woody
vegetation and bushes can help control the
population of tse tse fly.
• Trapping:
Tsetse populations can be monitored and effectively
controlled using simple, inexpensive traps. These are
often nets.
• Chemical control:
• Tse tse flies can be controlled by DDT, Dieldrin
and Endosulfan, Organophosphates,
Carbamates.
• Insect repellents
• Biological control:
The sterile insect technique can be used to used
to reduce tsetse populations. This technique
involves the rearing of large numbers of tsetse,
separation of the males, irradiation of these flies
with large doses of gamma rays to make them
sterile and then release into to the wild. Females
mate a few times in their life, generally only once,
any mating with a sterile male prevents that
female from giving birth to any offspring.
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