Lutzomyia (genus)

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blood-feeding Lutzomyia longipalpis sandfly (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Ray Wilson, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Lutzomyia França, 1924

This genus of sand flies contains around 500 species and is found throughout America. Several species are important vectors of the Leishmania parasite and the genus is equivalent to the genus Phlebotomus, the old world Leishmania vectors. Some species also transmit other human and veterinary pathogens like Bartonella or arboviruses.

Only the females are blood-feeding, using both mammals and reptiles as hosts. During feeding, the female creates a wound in the skin and suck the accumulating blood (pool feeders). The females require a bloodmeal before laying eggs. The larvae develop in soil and substrates rich in decaying organic matter like the base of trees. They go through 4 instars.

The genus is characterized, among others, by the venation of the forewing and the structure of the female genitalia.

Type species: Lutzomyia longipalpis.

For details see the respective page in Wikipedia.

Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: