Photos: Portraits of the Blood-Sucking Tsetse Fly

Tsetse Fly

tsetse fly female

(Image credit: Geoffrey M. Attardo, Research Scientist, Yale School of Public Heath)

A pregnant tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans morsitans).

Tsetse Fly

tsetse fly female face

(Image credit: Geoffrey M. Attardo, Research Scientist, Yale School of Public Heath)

Tsetse flies (Glossina morsitans morsitans) are the sole disease vector for African sleeping sickness, a protozoan infection that is fatal without treatment.

Pregnant Fly

pregnant tsetse fly

(Image credit: Geoffrey M. Attardo, Research Scientist, Yale School of Public Heath)

Tsetse fly females give birth to live young, one at a time. Before birth, the young are nourished with milk-like secretions from lactation glands.

Tsetse Biology

tsetse fly biology diagram

(Image credit: Geoffrey M. Attardo, Research Scientist, Yale School of Public Heath)

A diagram showing the biology of the tsetse fly, including the trypanosome parasites it spreads and the beneficial bacteria that keep it alive.

Tsetse Profile

tsetse fly female

(Image credit: Geoffrey M. Attardo, Research Scientist, Yale School of Public Heath)

Tsetse flies feed soley on blood. Their bites transmit infectious protozoa, which can cross the blood-brain barrier in mammals and cause neurological disease and death.

Tsetse Fly Hands

tsetse fly female

(Image credit: Geoffrey M. Attardo, Research Scientist, Yale School of Public Heath)

The newly sequenced tsetse genome reveals possible weaknesses that researchers could use to control the insects.