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About the presence of Phlebotomus sergenti Parrot, 1917 (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Eastern Sicily, Italy

EDP Sciences
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1051/parasite/2004113279
  • Mémoire


The note reports the data of a three-year sand fly investigation (1997-99) carried out in Eastern Sicily (Italy) with the aim to study the distribution of Phlebotomus sergenti. The survey involved a densely inhabited area at the foot of Mount Etna and the area of Iblei mounts. A total of 9,095 sand flies, of which 63.4 % males, were captured. Five species belonging to the genus Phlebotomus (P. perniciosus, P. perfiliewi, P. neglectus, P. sergenti and P. papatasi) and one to the genus Sergentomyia (S. minuta) were identified. Both the prevalence and distribution of the species were different within the two areas studied. In Mount Etna area, P. perniciosus (77.7 %) was the prevalent species followed by S. minuta (19.8 %), P. sergenti (2.0 %), P. neglectus (0.3 %) and P. papatasi (0.2 %). While in Iblei mounts region S. minuta (84,5 %) showed the highest prevalence, followed by P. perniciosus (14.4 %), P. perfiliewi (0,9 %) and P. neglectus (0,1 %). Here, P. sergenti was a very rare species (‹ 0.02). P. sergenti was mostly associated to domestic habitats of peri-urban and urban zones located between two and 750 m a.s.l. The density values of P. sergenti. expressed as number of specimens/m2 of sticky trap, were between 0.3 and 5.5 with the highest value in the hilly collecting sites. The low observed abundance of P. sergenti does not allow to draw any prediction on the role that the species could play in the transmission of leishmaniasis in Sicily.

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