Sampling methods for phlebotomine sand ¯ ies

  • Alexander B
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Abstract

A review is presented of methods for sampling phlebotomine sand¯ies (Diptera: Psychodidae). Among ~500 species of Phlebotominae so far described, mostly in the New World genus Lutzomyia and the Old World genus Phlebotomus, about 10% are known vectors of Leishmania parasites or other pathogens. Despite being small and fragile, sand¯ies have a wide geographical range with species occupying a considerable diversity of ecotopes and habitats, from deserts to humid forests, so that suitable methods for collecting them are in¯uenced by environmental conditions where they are sought. Because immature phlebotomines occupy obscure terrestrial habitats, it is dif®cult to ®nd their breeding sites. Therefore, most trapping methods and sampling procedures focus on sand¯y adults, whether resting or active. The diurnal resting sites of adult sand¯ies include tree holes, buttress roots, rock crevices, houses, animal shelters and burrows, from which they may be aspirated directly or trapped after being disturbed. Sand¯ies can be collected during their periods of activity by interception traps, or by using attractants such as bait animals, CO 2 or light. The method of trapping used should: (a) be suited to the habitat and area to be surveyed, (b) take into account the segment of the sand¯y population to be sampled (species, sex and reproduction condition) and (c) yield specimens of appropriate condition for the study objectives (e.g. identi®cation of species present, population genetics or vector implication). Methods for preservation and transportation of sand¯ies to the laboratory also depend on the objectives of a particular study and are described accordingly.

Author-supplied keywords

  • ies
  • leishmania
  • leishmaniasis
  • lutzomyia
  • phlebotominae
  • phlebotomus
  • sampling methods
  • sand
  • trapping
  • vectors

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Authors

  • B Alexander

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