SAND FLY TAXONOMY TUTORIAL

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Section I: Recognition and Identification of Phlebotomine Sand Flies

Under the 'scope: Is it a male or female?

Identifying female sand flies to species level nearly always requires distinguishing internal genital characters. More precise methods, such as observing variability in shape and segmentation of the spermathecae and the striations on the spermathecal duct, are used today to identify female sand flies. To observe these features, the cuticle of the fly must be "cleared" so you can see through it. Clearing solutions that can be used are 10% potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide or a 10% lacto-phenol solution.

sand fly

Cleared specimen: Lutzomyia saulensis

Photo credit: J Stoffer

sand fly

Cloudy specimen: Phlebotomus papatasi

Photo credit: J Stoffer


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