Spotters in "Environment and Health: Sandflies " for CFM & MPH students


Sandflies are nocturnal pests & their bites are irritating and painful. It lives in holes &  crevices in walls, trees, etc. Important species are P. argentipes, P. papatasii, P. sergenti, and S. punjabensis.

1. Eggs:

Important points:

  • Laid in damp, dark places in the vicinity of cattle sheds & poultry.
  • Comparatively large, torpedo-shaped with longitudinal wavy lines on the outside.
  • Size: 0.3-0.5 mm long and 0.1-0.15 mm wide.
  • Color: white when freshly deposited to brown or black.
  • Deposited singularly or in clusters.
  • Eggs hatch within 7 days.

2. Larva:

Important points:
  • These are hairy maggots with a distinct head, thorax & abdomen.
  • The last abdominal segment carries 2 pairs of long stout hairs.
  • One pair is remarkably long.
  • It feeds on decaying organic matter.
  • Becomes a pupa in about 2 weeks.

3. Pupa:

Important points:
  • It lasts for about a week.
  • Newly formed sand fly pupae are white, turning yellow, and finally almost black before adult emergence.

4. Adult:

Important points:
  • The average lifespan is about 2 weeks.
  • Light or dark brown in color.
  • Size: 1.5 to 2.5 mm in length.
  • Body & wings densely clothed with hair.
  • The body is divided into head, thorax & abdomen.
  • Smaller than mosquitoes.
  • Wings: up-right & lanceolate in shape.
  • Legs: longer compared to the size of the body.
  • Hopping: sandflies hop about & do not fly by choice and remain confined to within 50 yards of their breeding places.
  • Only females bite.
  1. Park, K. (2019). Park's textbook of preventive and social medicine. 25th. Jabalpur, India: M/S Banarsidas Bhanot.
  2. Kadri AM. (2019). IAPSM's Textbook of Community Medicine. 1st. New Delhi, India: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.
  5. photo credit
  6. photo credit


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