Attraction of phlebotomine sand flies to baited and non-baited horizontal surfaces

Aviad Moncaz, Araya Gebresilassie, Oscar Kirstein, Roy Faiman, Teshome Gebre-Michael, Asrat Hailu, Alon Warburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Female phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) transmit leishmaniasis as they engorge on vertebrate blood required for egg production. Phlebotomus (Phlebotomus) papatasi (Scopoli, 1786), the vector of Leishmania major (Yakimoff & Schokhor, 1914), the causative agent of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) were not attracted to large horizontal sticky traps (LHSTs) unless these were baited with CO2 derived from dry ice or from fermenting sugar/yeast mixture (SYM). Attraction of P. papatasi males by CO2 may indicate their tendency to mate on or near the blood-host. Male P. (Larroussius) orientalis (Parrot, 1936), the vector of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Ethiopia, were collected on LHSTs in large numbers. Although the number of females remained low, augmentation with SYM, increased the number of females by 800% while the number of males increased by only about 40%. Apparently, male P. orientalis utilize the horizontal surfaces for forming mating swarms. P. (Paraphlebotomus) sergenti (Parrot, 1917), is the vector of CL caused by Leishmania tropica. Although approximately twice as many P. sergenti males were caught on LHSTs as females, it appears that LHSTs were attractive to both sexes. Use of SYM baits is potentially useful for monitoring phlebotomine sand flies in places where dry ice is unobtainable or prohibitively expensive. LHSTs can provide an inexpensive alternative to CDC traps for monitoring some species of sand flies. Unfortunately, the numbers of female sand flies, crucial for estimating transmission of Leishmania, is usually low on LHSTs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalActa Tropica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program [Grant number OPPGH5336 ], a grant from the Deployed War-Fighter Protection (DWFP) Research Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense through the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB) and grant No. SCHO 448/8-2 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG): “Emergence of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis due to Leishmania tropica and L. major in The Palestinian Authority and Israel”


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Horizontal
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Phlebotomine sand flies
  • Sticky-traps
  • Yeast-fermentation


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