General Aspects



Fossil phlebotomines are about 120 million years old (Mehlhorn, 2001).
It has been suggested that sand flies existed before the continents separated and that Phlebotomus evolved in the Old World but failed to reach North America because the Bering land bridge did not become warm enough (Perfil'ev, 1968).
The genus Lutzomyia probably is polyphyletic, i.e. of more than one evolutionary origin and may eventually have to be split (WHO, 1990).



  • Mehlhorn, H.: Sand flies. In: Mehlhorn, H. (ed.): Encyclopedic reference of parasitology. Biology, structure, function. 2nd edn., Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 563-565, 2001
  • Perfil'ev, P.P.: Fauna of U.S.S.R. Diptera. Phlebotomidae (sandflies). Acad. Sci. U.S.S.R. Zool. Inst. New Ser. No. 93, Vol. 3 No. 2, Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem, 1968
  • WHO: Control of the leishmaniases. Report of a WHO Expert Committee, Tech. Rep. Ser. No. 793, WHO, Geneva, 1990

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