SAND FLY TAXONOMY TUTORIAL

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Section I: Recognition and Identification of Phlebotomine Sand Flies

Where is this sand fly from?

Phlebotomine sand flies are classified into New World (the Americas and surrounding islands) and Old World (Africa, Asia, and Europe). These terms, which are still in use today originated in the early 16th century, shortly after America was discovered by European explorers who initially thought of the world consisted only of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Although there are multiple genera of New World sand flies the only one that contains species that are important human-biters and vectors of human disease are in the genus Lutzomyia. Similarly there are multiple genera of Old World sand flies but only members of the genus Phlebotomus feed on humans and vector disease.

Lutzomyia species

"New" World Lutzomyia longipalpis

Photo credit: J Stoffer

Phlebotomus species

"Old" World Phlebotomus papatasi habitus

Photo credit: J Stoffer


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