The Tsetse Fly ~ Discovering lots of Fun and “Yikes!” about Bugs!

Guess what we’re talking about today!!?? That’s right – the Tsetse Fly ~ Discovering lots of Fun and “Yikes!” about Bugs! My grandsons are loving this series that I’m writing because it’s teaching them all about these bugs! I think I’ve become “cool” in their eyes talking about this stuff! They absolutely love it!

Tsetse Fly

Let’s have a little fun, a little learning and a lotta “Yikes!” today with the Tsetse Fly:

Tsetse Fly
~ Tsetse Fly ~

The Tsetse Fly is a biting fly that inhabits Africa.  It resembles a common housefly, but is larger. Both male and female Tsetse Flies suck on the blood of mammals, and its this bloodsucking that causes so much harm to human beings and animals.

This is not just a “Yikes!” This is a deadly “yikes.”

The Tsetse Fly transmits trypanosomiasis, an infection of the central nervous system. The disease is called sleeping sickness in human beings and nagana in animals.  They are known as a cattle scourge, but it also feeds on horses, antelope and wild game.  They transmits both sleeping sickness and nagana through its saliva.

There are two distinct characteristics of the Tsetse Fly: one is its long proboscis, extending forward and attached to the bottom of its head by a bulb; the second is the way it completely folds its wings, resting one directly on top of the other and over the abdomen.

They are very active during the day and they breed along streams and rivers.  The reproduction cycle involves the female laying a single egg, but the egg stays inside of her, hatching into a maggot.  “Yikes!” As the female feeds on human and/or animal blood, the maggot grows until it fills the mother’s abdomen.  She then releases it into the soil where it burrows and pupates.

There are at least 22 species of the Tsetse Fly, presenting a grave danger to regions of Africa.

Introduce your kids to the Tsetse Fly.  It’s a very frightening insect, but its one that kids find interesting.  Tell your kids that fossils of them show that this insect has existed for millions of years.  You may also want to research some of the ways that the populations are now being controlled.


Tsetse, sometimes spelled tzetze and also known as tik-tik flies, are large biting flies that inhabit much of tropical Africa. Tsetse flies include all the species in the genus Glossina, which are placed in their own family, Glossinidae. Wikipedia
Scientific name: Glossina
Class: Insecta
Kingdom: Animalia
Did you know: Unlike house fly, tsetse fly folds its wings completely (one wing tucked below other wing) when it is resting.

Use June days to dig into a little learning about Bugs, and listen for your kids to say, “Yikes!”

We’re talking the STINK BUG here!!


About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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