Image of the Day: Mouth Parts

A high-resolution microscope reveals the intricate inner structure of the blood-sucking tsetse fly’s saliva tube. 

Sep 22, 2017
The Scientist Staff

Saliva tube of the the tsetse fly (genus Glossina), depicting finger-like protrusionsWENDY GIBSON AND MAGGIE GAMBLE, SPECIMEN PREPARED BY LORI PEACOCK AND GINI TILLY, WOLFSON BIOIMAGING FACILITY, UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL Using a scanning electron microscope, researchers imaged the tsetse fly’s inner mouth structures, revealing an unexpectedly complex saliva tube complete with finger-like projections. The researchers have yet to figured out their function, they write in their report.

See W. Gibson et al., “Microarchitecture of the tsetse fly proboscis,” Parasites & Vectors, doi:10.1186/s13071-017-2367-2, 2017.