To identify the phlebotomine sand fly populations of the eastern coast of Tunisia, an entomological survey was carried out between September and October 2005 at 71 sites located in three districts. CDC light traps and sticky papers were used to collect a total of 2,138 phlebotomine sand flies representing nine species. The predominant species occurring on the eastern coast of Tunisia are, in order of abundance, Phlebotomus longicuspis Nitzulescu, 1930 (40%); Phlebotomus papatasi Scopoli, 1786 (21%); Sergentomyia minuta Parroti Adler & Theodor, 1927 (19%); Phlebotomus perniciosus Newstead, 1911 (9.5%); Phlebotomus chabaudi Croset, Abonnenc & Rioux, 1970 (9%); Sergentomyia fallax Parrot, 1921 (1.5%); Sergentomyia dreyfussi Parrot, 1933 (0.23%); Phlebotomus langeroni Nitzulescu, 1930 (0.05%); and Phlebotomus perfiliewi Parrot, 1930 (0.05%). Species involved in the transmission of Leishmania, namely P. papatasi and P. perniciosus, represent 31% of the total number of flies captured. In the central sites (district of Monastir), P. longicuspis predominates, P. perniciosus predominates in the northern sites (district of Sousse) and P. papatasi in the southern sites (district of Mahdia), which is consistent with the distribution of Leishmania infantum and L. major in this region. Analysis of the degree of presence (D) revealed that Phlebotomus papatasi was the most common species and showed the broadest distribution (D = 95%), followed by P. longicuspis and S. minuta parroti (D = 90%) and P. perniciosus and P. chabaudi (D = 86% and 68% respectively).
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Vol. 46 • No. 1