The wing venation patterns to identify single tsetse flies

D. Kaba a , D. Berté a , B.T.D. Ta a , J. Tellería b , P. Solano b , J.-P. Dujardin b, *
INSP/IPR Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire
UMR 177, INTERTRYP, CIRAD-IRD, Baillarguet, France

Infection, Genetics and Evolution 47 (2017) 132–139

This is the first study to explore the potential of various geometric morphometrics methods to help the morphological diagnostic of tsetse species, vectors of human and animal trypanosomiases in sub-Saharan Africa. We compared landmarks, semilandmarks and outlines techniques on male and female samples of species, and suggested adapted strategies according to the countries and their own Glossina fauna. We could compare up to 7 taxa belonging to the three main subgenera of the Glossina genus: Nemorhina (5 species), Glossina (1 species) and Austenina (1 species). Our sample included the major vectors of sleeping sickness:
G. palpalis palpalis, G. p. gambiensis, G. fuscipes fuscipes and G. f. quanzensis, as well as two important vectors of African animal trypanosomoses: G. tachinoides and Glossina morsitans submorsitans. The average level of correct species recognition by the wing shape was satisfactory, and slightly higher for females than for
males. The best scores of correct assignment, in both sexes, were obtained by the contour technique (96% of correct attribution in females, 92% in males), slightly higher than for semilandmarks (95% and 91%) or landmarks (94% and 89%) techniques. We made our images of wings freely available to be used as reference images (, and we describe the conditions and the analytical steps to be followed to identify unknown specimens using external reference images. Under adequate conditions, such use of reference images obtained from a free access server could help species identification of new samples anywhere in Africa.