Tsetse fly and her cousins

How do “fly vampires” act? What organs do they use and how do they suck blood?

Proboscis is the specialized organ, the giant horse-fly having six sharp stilettos, some of them being serrated like a hunting knife. Proboscis has two channels: one for the saliva, through which the anticoagulant saliva drips, and the food channel, through which the liquid food (sucked blood) is aspired in the digestive tract.

Tsetse fly and her relative Stomoxys calcitrans have a very strong and sharp proboscis, with a muscle bulb at its base. Unintentionally, tsetse fly and her cousins – giant horse-flies, mosquitoes – transmit a lot of diseases to humans and domesticated animals. The pathogen is represented by the flagellated protozoan of the Trypanosomatidae family:

  • Sleeping sickness – in humans and animals
  • nagana – in sheep
  • suma – in dogs
  • baleria – in dogs

Except for the above mentioned diseases, Diptera also transmit other very dangerous diseases, such as: malaria (cause by the protozoan of the Plasmodidae family), filariasis (such as elephantiasis, caused by thread-like nematodes of the Filaria genus and other related nematodes), anthrax and tularemia (in the case of which the pathogens are bacteria transmitted by horse-flies), yellow fever and deadly encephalitis (the pathogens are viruses transmitted by Culicidae such as the mosquito).