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Sugars in the gut of the sandfly Phlebotomus orientalis from Dinder National Park, Eastern Sudan

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/04/2000
<mark>Journal</mark>Medical and Veterinary Entomology
Issue number1
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)64-70
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The sandfly Phlebotomus orientalis Parrot (Diptera: Psychodidae) is the vector of visceral leishmaniasis in eastern and Upper Nile regions of Sudan, where vector infection rates of over 7% have been reported. Sugars are known to be important for development of the parasite and for increasing the survival and oviposition rates of several species of sandflies. In the present study we have analysed the sugars present in the guts of individuals and groups of male and female P. orientalis and compared these with sugars from several potential local plant sources: Acacia seyal, Balanites aegyptiaca and Combretum kordofanum. The distribution of these trees in Sudan is closely correlated with that of P. orientalis. Only 20% of individually analysed female sandflies had significant amounts of sugars present suggesting that P. orientalis either digest their sugar meal quickly or do not require regular sugar meals. Interestingly, the sugars present in the males were significantly different to those found in the females, indicating that they had fed on different sugar sources. There was evidence that fruit sugars from Balanites aegyptiaca, Combretum kordofanum and aphid or coccid honeydew are utilized by male and female P. orientalis. There was evidence to indicate that female P. orientalis feeds directly on honeydew. There was no evidence to indicate that direct feeding on leaves is a typical source for the sugar meal. There was no melizitose and only a very small amount of turanose present in the male, suggesting that honeydew was not an important sugar source for males.