Section I: Recognition and Identification of Phlebotomine Sand Flies

Is it a sand fly?

The term "sand fly" is often misused to refer to biting midges (family Ceratopogonidae), which are often confused with true sand flies (family Psychodidae, subfamily Phlebotominae).

  1. The biting midges (left) are about one-fourth the size and have more stout bodies.
  2. Biting midges have dense pigmented hairs in patches on their wings, giving the wings a spotted appearance.
biting midge group

Culicoides specimens

Photo credit: S Merino, CSIC, Madrid, Spain

sand fly group

Sand fly Genus species

Photo credit: J Stoffer

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