Investigations of Phlebotomus perniciosus sand flies in rural Spain reveal strongly aggregated and gender-specific spatial distributions and advocate use of light-attraction traps

Munoz C., Risueno J., Yilmaz A., Perez-Cutillas P., Goyena E., Ortuno M., ...More

MEDICAL AND VETERINARY ENTOMOLOGY, vol.32, no.2, pp.186-196, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/mve.12275
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.186-196
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The spatial and temporal distribution of Phlebotomus perniciosus (Diptera: Psychodidae) (Newstead, 1911), the sand fly vector of pathogens of public and animal health importance, was investigated in a high sand fly density rural area in Spain using light-attraction and sticky-interception traps. Traps were placed inside animal buildings and outside at increasing distance from animals. A total of 8506 sand flies were collected, 87% with light traps. Species frequency differed between trap types. The abundance of P. perniciosus decreased exponentially with increasing distance to animals and, while females were most common in the animal enclosure, males predominated in adjoining storage places. Increasing CO2 concentration had an additional positive effect on female abundance only. Both male and female density increased with rising temperature, and there was some indication that females were more active than males at higher relative humidity. The study confirms that P. perniciosus aggregates around animal premises, although male and female distributions differ and should be analysed separately to account for biological and behavioural differences. This provides further evidence that light traps offer an accurate estimation of the relative spatial and temporal abundance of P. perniciosus, conferring an added value for the study of this species and the risk of pathogen transmission.