The ultrastructure of adhesive device or the pulvilli, pad-like structure between the tarsal claws of the legs, is presented in the blowfly (Calliphoridae), housefly and relatives (Muscidae), and flesh fly (Sarcophagidae) through scanning electron microscopy. The blowfly species were Chrysomya chani, Chrysomya nigripes, Chrysomya pinguis, and Chrysomya villeneuvi; while those of the housefly and relatives were Musca domestica and Hydrotaea chalcogaster, respectively. Fresh fly species included Boettcherisca peregrina and Liosarcophaga dux. Numerous tenent setae were observed on the ventral side of the pulvilli. Two features of the tip of the tenent setae were found as a spatula-like (in C. chani, C. pinguis, C. nigripes, M. domestica, H. chalcogaster, B. peregrina, and L. dux) and spoon-like tip (in C. villeneuvi). Transmission electron microscopy of the tenent setae in M. domestica revealed the electron-lucent centrally located, suggesting an adhesive substance. These results provided anatomical information that allow us to not only understand the successful attachment of flies to smooth surfaces but also clarify their role as a mechanical carrier of microorganisms.
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This work received support from the Faculty of Medicine Endowment Fund for Medical Research.
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