Morphological keys for the identification of Italian phlebotomine sand flies Diptera: Psychodidae: PhlebotominaeReportar como inadecuado

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Parasites and Vectors

, 7:479

First Online: 17 October 2014Received: 17 July 2014Accepted: 05 October 2014


BackgroundPhlebotomine sand flies are small blood-feeding insects of great medical and veterinary significance. Their identification relies basically on the microscopic examination of key morphological characters. Therefore, identification keys are fundamental to any researcher dealing with these insects. The Italian fauna of phlebotomine sand flies consists of eight species Phlebotomus perniciosus, Phlebotomus perfiliewi, Phlebotomus ariasi, Phlebotomus neglectus, Phlebotomus papatasi, Phlebotomus mascittii, Phlebotomus sergenti and Sergentomyia minuta, whose morphological delineation may be troublesome for non-taxonomists.

MethodsA total of 8,757 pictures were taken from the 419 selected phlebotomine sand fly specimens collected on different occasions. Twenty-eight characters for the males and 23 for the females were examined, resulting in a database containing over 10,000 entries. Representative phlebotomine sand fly specimens for each species available were selected and relevant characters were drawn with the aid of a camera lucida.

ResultsAfter detailed morphological study of representative specimens, comprehensive identification keys based on key characters e.g., pharynx and spermathecae of females and male terminalia were elaborated.

ConclusionsThe identification keys provided herein allow the identification of genera and species of phlebotomine sand flies of Italy and they will facilitate future studies on these medically important insects.

KeywordsSand flies Taxonomy Vectors Leishmaniasis Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s13071-014-0479-5 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Filipe Dantas-Torres - Viviana Domenica Tarallo - Domenico Otranto


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