Distribution and ecological aspects of sand fly (Diptera: Psychodidae) species in Sri Lanka

ÖZBEL Y., Sanjoba C., Alten B., Asada M., Depaquit J., Matsumoto Y., ...More

JOURNAL OF VECTOR ECOLOGY, vol.36, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Human indigenous cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania donovani complex is endemic in Sri Lanka. We performed an entomological survey to determine the distribution of probable vector species. Sand flies were collected in districts in the dry zone, in the wet zone highlands, and in the wet zone coastal belt of Sri Lanka using CDC light traps, sticky traps and cattle-baited net traps during July, 2005. The survey was reconducted in February, 2006. Overall, 584 sand flies belonging to Phlebotomus (266 specimens, 2 species) and Sergentomyia (318 specimens, 8 species) genera were collected. A total of 266 Phlebotomus was identified as P. argentipes (258/266; 97%) and P. stantoni (8/266; 3%) . The identification studies of Sergentomyia specimens showed that there are at least 8 species in Sri Lanka. Higher number of Phlebotomus sand flies (76/266) were caught in the southern part of the country compared to the other parts probably due to different ecological aspects. P. argentipes were widely distributed throughout the island whereas P. stantoni were collected only in four districts. Since P. argentipes is known to be the vector of L. donovani responsible of visceral leishmaniasis in India, this species may be incriminated as the most possible vector of human cutaneous leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka.