In a world of changing climate, would nature’s insect “vampire”, the tsetse fly, perish or change its hunting ground?
Like vampire bats, tsetse flies survive solely on the blood of vertebrate animals. Unlike bats, they hunt almost exclusively during the day. Tsetse flies can also pass deadly diseases to their victims when they feed.
These diseases include African trypanosomiasis. Also known as African sleeping sickness, it’s a parasitic disease caused in humans by infection with either Trypanosoma brucei gambiense or T. b. rhodesiense. If left untreated, sleeping sickness can lead to the infected person becoming lethargic, then possibly entering a prolonged coma before dying. The sickness is curable, but diagnosis and treatment are complicated. MORE
Header image: Tsetse flies can pass on African sleeping sickness. Credit: Shutterstock.