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Tsetse fly

The meaning of «tsetse fly»

Tsetse (/ˈsiːtsi/ SEET-see, US: /ˈtsiːtsi/ TSEET-see or UK: /ˈtsɛtsə/ TSET-sə), sometimes spelled tzetze and also known as tik-tik flies, are large biting flies that inhabit much of tropical Africa.[1][2][3] Tsetse flies include all the species in the genus Glossina, which are placed in their own family, Glossinidae. The tsetse are obligate parasites that live by feeding on the blood of vertebrate animals. Tsetse have been extensively studied because of their role in transmitting disease. They have a prominent economic impact in sub-Saharan Africa as the biological vectors of trypanosomes, which cause human sleeping sickness and animal trypanosomiasis. Tsetse are multivoltine and long-lived, typically producing about four broods per year, and up to 31 broods over their lifespans.[4]

Tsetse can be distinguished from other large flies by two easily observed features. Tsetse fold their wings completely when they are resting so that one wing rests directly on top of the other over their abdomens. Tsetse also have a long proboscis, which extends directly forward and is attached by a distinct bulb to the bottom of their heads.

Fossilized tsetse have been recovered from Florissant Fossil Beds in Colorado,[4] laid down some 34 million years ago.[5] Twenty-three extant species of tsetse flies are known from Africa.

The word tsetse means "fly" in Tswana, a Bantu language of southern Africa.[6] Recently, tsetse without the fly has become more common in English, particularly in the scientific and development communities.

The word is pronounced tseh-tseh in the Sotho languages and is easily rendered in other African languages. During World War II, a British de Havilland antisubmarine aircraft was known as the 'Tsetse' Mosquito.[7]

The biology of tsetse is relatively well understood by entomologists. They have been extensively studied because of their medical, veterinary, and economic importances, because the flies can be raised in a laboratory, and because they are relatively large, facilitating their analysis.

Tsetse flies can be seen as independent individuals in three forms: as third-instar larvae, pupae, and adults.

Tsetse first become separate from their mothers during the third larval instar, during which they have the typical appearance of maggots. However, this life stage is short, lasting at most a few hours, and is almost never observed outside of the laboratory.

Tsetse next develop a hard external case, the puparium, and become pupae—small, hard-shelled, oblongs with two distinctive, small, dark lobes at the tail (breathing) end. Tsetse pupae are under .mw-parser-output .frac{white-space:nowrap}.mw-parser-output .frac .num,.mw-parser-output .frac .den{font-size:80%;line-height:0;vertical-align:super}.mw-parser-output .frac .den{vertical-align:sub}.mw-parser-output .sr-only{border:0;clip:rect(0,0,0,0);height:1px;margin:-1px;overflow:hidden;padding:0;position:absolute;width:1px}1 centimetre (1⁄2 in) long.[8] Within the puparial shell, tsetse complete the last two larval instars and the pupal stage.

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