An Introduction to Medical Entomology
For educational purposes.
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Psychodidae. -- The moth flies and sand flies have abundant scales on their wings. They are small to very tiny insects with a large number of hairs on their bodies. When at rest adults may hold their wings roof like over the body.
The habitat is in moist shady areas but can also be found in drainages or sewers. Adults may occur in bathrooms that they enter via sink drains. Larvae inhabit decaying vegetable matter, moss, mud or water.
There are some medically important species that are vectors of various fevers, such as Leishmania, Pappataci fever, Kala-azar and Oroya fever, especially in tropical regions. Service (2008) reported that there are almost 1,000 species in six genera. Those that draw blood from vertebrates are in the genera Phlebotomus, Lutzomyia and Sergentomyia. Phelobotomus species are absent from the Americas but range in parts of Africa and Asia. They typically are active in drier savannas. Lutzomyia are restricted to the Americas where they are abundant in the forests of Central and South America. Sergentomyia species also are not found in the Americas but rather Central Africa and Asia. However, they do not generally encounter humans and are not vectors. Service (2008) listed the most medically important species are Phelebotomus papatasi, P. sergenti, P. argentipes, P. ariasi, P. perniciousus and Lutzomyia longipalpis and L. flaviscutellata.
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