Sergentomyia spp. Breeding sites in vertisols and peri-domestic habitats in North West Ethiopia

Aviad Moncaz, Oscar Kirstein, Araya Gebresellassie, Wossenseged Lemma, Teshome Gebre-Michael, Meshesha Balkew, Shewaye Belay, Asrat Hailu, Alon Warburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Sand flies belonging to the genus Sergentomyia Franca & Parrot, 1920, are hematophagous insects feeding mostly on reptiles and birds, but some species feed also on mammals including humans. Sergentomyia spp. frequently comprise the vast majority of sand flies trapped along with Phlebotomus spp., the vectors of mammalian leishmaniasis. Within the framework of a project on the ecology and transmission of visceral leishmaniasis in Ethiopia, putative breeding sites of phlebotomine sand flies were studied. Large horizontal sticky traps (LHSTs) covered with sand fly-proof mesh were deployed over cracked vertisol and related habitats for up to 3 nights, and emerging sand flies were collected daily. Emergence traps (ETs) were also adapted to sample other putative breeding sites including tree trunks, termite mounds, rock piles and vertical river banks. Productive breeding sites were identified in the trunks and roots systems of trees, vertisol fields, cracks and burrows in vertisol dry river banks and termite mounds. Emerging flies were also collected form a stone wall and a rock pile situated inside a village. Significantly more Sergentomyia spp. were trapped in vertisols by ETs deployed over root system than in open fields. Similarly, more sand flies emerged from cracks in the vertisol in fallow Sorghum than in fallow sesame fields. Productive breeding sites were characterized by stable micro-climatic conditions. Species composition of emerging sand flies varied with habitat, season and geographical location.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalActa Tropica
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Breeding site
  • Emergence trap
  • Ethiopia
  • Phlebotomine sand fly
  • Sergentomyia
  • Vertisol


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