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Any of about 21 species (genus Glossina, family Muscidae) of African bloodsucking dipterans that are robust, sparsely bristled, and usually larger than a housefly. They have stiff, piercing mouthparts. Only two species commonly transmit the protozoan parasites (trypanosomes) that cause human sleeping sickness: G. palpalis, found primarily in dense streamside vegetation, and G. morsitans, found in more open woodlands. The female requires a sufficient blood meal to produce viable larvae, but both sexes suck blood almost daily.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on tsetse fly, visit Britannica.com.