Sand flies are small blood feeding dipterans that are primary vectors of numerous human and livestock pathogens. Control efforts are often complex and multidimensional. A fundamental step in the development and implementation of any integrated pest management (IPM) program is the refining of effective surveillance and identification techniques. Before this study, the presence of two species, Lutzomyia shannoni (Dyar) and Lutzomyia vexator (Coquillett) became known in Kentucky and surrounding states. To understand the spatial distribution of these species across heterogeneous landscapes in this region, trapping was conducted at random locations in previously designated habitats. Although a lack of clear data prevented any conclusions to be drawn for the preferences of L. vexator, the species of greater medical and veterinary importance, L. shannoni, was documented to show a strong preference for habitats along the wooded edges of pasture lands. In the region of study, these lands are frequently used in the production of beef cattle and other livestock, reinforcing the veterinary significance of the findings. Because of their familiarity to vector control officials and operators, mosquito species compositions were compared with the recorded abundance of L. shannoni across the varied habitats. The linking of this information should prove useful to management plans for the phlebotomine, if warranted in the future.
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Vol. 48 • No. 6