Infection of tsetse fly with trypanosome parasites could be influenced by its ability to locate vertebrate host(s) in the wild. Generally, the antennae of insects are known to bear chemo-sensory organs (sensilla), which are used for host search among other functions. In order to exploit the potentials of tsetse-search behavior, knowledge of sensilla types on the antennae is desirable. In line with this, the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the antennae of Glossina palpalis and Glossina tachinoides (Westwood) were examined under the scanning electron microscope. Results showed that trichoid and chaetica (subtypes I and II) sensilla are present only on the scape and pedicel, while basiconica (subtypes I and II) and sensory pits are seen on the flagella. Microtrichia are present on all the segments of the antennae with Ca II being most abundant. Specifically, in females of G. tachinoides, there is a near-even distribution of Ca I and Ca II on the pedicel while more number of sensory pits was seen on females than males in both species. This study hypothesizes that host-search efficiency could be influenced by the number of olfactory-sensilla types on the antennae, in which case, females present greater potentials.
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Vol. 52 • No. 4