M Khadri Shahar, A Abu Hassan, HL Lee and MR Che Salmah (2011). Studies on phlebotomine sand fly (Diptera: Psychodidae) poulations in limestone areas and caves of Western Malaysia. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health 42(1): 89-93
Phlebotomine sand flies were collected using CO2 baited CDC light trap in 2000 and 2001 in limestone areas and caves of western Malaysia. A total of 1,548 specimens were collected comprising 18 species from two genera: Phlebotomus (6 spp) and Sergentomyia (12 spp). Phlebotomus major major (38.9%) was the predominant species followed by Sergentomyia perturbans (20.1%), P. stantoni (15.3%) and others. Biting activity of the sand flies at the Gua Senyum caves, Gua Kota Gelanggi, Batu caves and Gua Kelam were observed using the bare leg landing catch (BLC) technique. Four Phlebotomus spp at Gua Senyum were found to bite humans with a unimodal biting peak (between 01:00 and 04:00 AM). At Gua Kota Gelanggi P. major major was observed to bite humans, but at Batu Caves and Gua Kelam no sand flies were observed to bite humans. Sergentomyia spp did not feed on humans even though high numbers were caught in light traps. The populations of phleobotomine sand flies fluctuated, with several peaks especially among P. major major which peaked in December and was low in February and August. Phlebotomus stantoni was abundant throughout 2001. Most species populations were weakly related to rainfall because they inhabited caves.