Bionomics of phlebotomine sandflies in the Galilee focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis in northern Israel

V. Kravchenko, G. Wasserberg, A. Warburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The bionomics of phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) were studied for three years (2001-2003) in the Galilee focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis in northern Israel, where the causative Leishmania tropica (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae) is transmitted by Phlebotomus (Adlerius) arabicus Theodor and Phlebotomus (Paraphlebotomus) sergenti Parrot, comprising 22% and 8%, respectively, of the local sandfly fauna sampled by light traps. The predominant species overall was Phlebotomus (Larroussius) tobbi Adler & Theodor (51%) with lesser numbers of Phlebotomus (Adlerius) simici Theodor (11%), Phlebotomus (Larroussius) syriacus Adler & Theodor (5%), Phlebotomus (Larroussius) perfiliewi Perfil'ev (3%) and Phlebotomus (Phlebotomus) papatasi Scopoli (0.05%). Sandfly adult populations were prevalent from April to November and peaked between June and August, being more abundant through the summer in irrigated habitats, such as gardens and orchards, than in open grassland. Of the two cutaneous leishmaniasis vectors, P. sergenti preferred boulder mounds located at the outskirts of settlements, whereas P. arabicus was more abundant overall and near houses in particular. Females of all these sandfly species displayed a peak of activity after sunset (20.00-22.00 hours), whereas activity of males persisted longer through the night. Another slight increase in activity was noted before dawn (02.00-04.00 hours). Phlebotomus arabicus appears to be the main vector of L. tropica in the Galilee focus, due to its denser populations, more endophily and preference for peridomestic habitats than shown by P. sergenti in northern Israel.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)418-428
Number of pages11
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Cutaneous leishmaniasis
  • Galilee
  • Israel
  • Leishmania tropica
  • Leishmaniasis vectors
  • Nocturnal activity
  • Phlebotomus (Adlerius) arabicus
  • Phlebotomus (Larroussius) tobbi
  • Phlebotomus (Paraphlebotomus) sergenti
  • Sandfly abundance
  • Seasonality


Dive into the research topics of 'Bionomics of phlebotomine sandflies in the Galilee focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis in northern Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this