The Psychodidae is composed of two groups of flies the Psychodinae and the Phlebotominae. The Psychodidae is a group of free-living flies that are nuisance pests that develop in dirty water such as that found areound sewage treatment plants, manure lagoons, and cesspools. The Phlebotomine sand flies are a group of flies where the females require a blood meal. The genera of flies of importance are Lutzomyia which is found in the Americas, and Phlebotomus and Sergentomyia which are found in Eurasia and Africa.
The phlebotomine flies are small flies with long antennae, long legs, and wings that have parallel wing veins that extend from the base of the wing to the wingtip (Fig. 5-47). The mouthparts of the female are designed for the rasping of a small hole in the skin from which she drinks blood an tissue fluids. The female lays long ovoid eggs in crevices, hollows, animal burrows, and cracks in soil that may or may not contain organic debris but are dark and have a high humidity. The small maggot-like larvae go through four instars and then pupate. The period from egg to adult is about two months. Most adults tend to fly relatively short distances feeding near the breeding sites, although some are capable of extended flight.
Athough there have been no studies on the transmission of leishmaniasis between cats by phlebotomine sandflies, blood meals of flies have been identified as coming from cats. In Peru, Lutzomyiaperuensis and Lutzomyiaverrucarum were identified as the major source of blood meals after humans and cattle with 10.8% of the flies having feed on cats (Ogusuku et al., 1994); these species have been incrimnated as vectors of Leishmaniaperuviana and Leishmaniabraziliensis. Lutzomyiashannoni and Lutzomyiadiabolica are species in the United States that feed on humans and which have been shown to experimentally transmit Leishmaniamexicana. In Kenya, vector preference studies using various hosts as bait, have shown that cats were almost as attractive to Phlebotomusguggisbergi as sheep and goats which were the most attractive hosts Johnson et al., 1993); Phlebotomusguggisbergi serves as a vector of Leishmaniatropica. In Spain, Phlebotomusperniciosus, a vector of Leishmaniadonovani, has been shown to feed on the cats in 2% to 25% of flies that were sampled from five different locations (Colmenares et al., 1995). In Egypt, two vectors of Leishmaniadonovani, Phlebotomuspapatasi and Phlebotomuslangeroni, did not significantly feed on cats preferring human hosts to the exclusion of almost all others (El Sawaf et al., 1989).
REFERENCES: -Need to include multinational characters
Colmenares MD, Portus M, Botet J, Dobano C, Gallego M, Wolff M, Segui G. 1995. Identification of blood meals of Phlebotomusperniciosus (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Apain by a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay biotin/avidin method. J Med Entomol 32:229-233.
El Sawaf BM, Mansour NS, El Said SM, Daba S, Youssef FG, Kenawy MA, Beier JC. 1989. Feeding patterns of Phlebotomuspapatasi and Phlebotomuslangeroni (Diptera: Psychodidae) in El Agamy, Egypt. J Med Entomol 26:497-498.
Johnson RN, Ngumbi PM, Mwanyumba JP, Roberts CR. 1993. Host feeding preference of Phlebotomusguggisbergi a vector of Leishmaniatropica in Kenya. Med Vet Entomol 7:216-218.
Ogusuku E, Perez JE, Paz L, Nieto E, Monje J, Guerra H. 1994. Identification of bloodmeal sources of Lutzomyia spp. In Peru. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 88:329-335.
Figure 5-47.Phlebotomus. Note the short mouthparts and the parallel venation on the wings.