Phlebotomus papatasi

The sandfly Phlebotomus papatasi is of particular interest as it plays a key role in a number of diseases that affect humans. These include viral infections that cause episodic fevers and, perhaps best-known, a form of the parasitic disease leishmaniasis that causes skin ulcers in humans.

Female sandflies transmit the disease-causing pathogens from infected animals to people via their bite, when they feed on blood.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are 1.5 million new cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis each year, mostly in tropical countries.

Species detail

  • Phlebotomus papatasi sandfly in the process of ingesting a blood meal
    Diseases

    Find out more about the diseases that Phlebotomus papatasi transmits to humans, including what causes them and the transmission cycle involved in zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis.

  • A male sandfly of the genus Phlebotomus
    Taxonomy

    Phlebotomus papatasi was the first sandfly to be described. Learn about its taxonomic history and key features, and discover how it can be distinguished from similar-looking species.

  • Focus of leishmaniasis transmission in northwest Iran
    Distribution and ecology

    Discover where Phlebotomus papatasi is known from and learn about its common habitats and how these relate to epidemics of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis. Find out about the dispersal of the species.

  • The great gerbil, Rhombomys opimus
    Biology

    Phlebotomus papatasi females can develop more than 100 eggs. Find out more about the lifecycle of this species and the close association it has with mammals that are potential parasite carriers.

  • Female Phelbotomus sandfly
    References

    Get reference material for Phlebotomus papatasi.

Images

Female Phlebotomus sandfly

Female Phlebotomus sandfly. Female sandflies, but not males, bite mammals to feed on their blood. (Photographed by R. Killick-Kendrick)

A Phlebotomus papatasis sandfly on a photographer's arm, in the process of ingesting a blood meal

A Phlebotomus papatasis sandfly on a photographer's arm, in the process of ingesting a blood meal (Image from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

A male sandfly of the genus Phlebotomus

A male sandfly of the genus Phlebotomus (Image from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Focus of leishmaniasis transmission in northwest Iran

Focus of leishmaniasis transmission in northwest Iran (Photo: Clive Davies).

The great gerbil, Rhombomys opimus, is a reservoir host for Leishmania parasites

The great gerbil, Rhombomys opimus, is a reservoir host for Leishmania parasites which cause cutaneous leishmaniasis in humans. Adult Phlebotomus papatasi sandflies are adbundant in and around the burrows of these rodents.

© Yuriy Danilevsky (Wikipedia)