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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of blood-sucking dipterous insects. The small, hairy insects, which are 1.2 to 3.7 mm long, are yellow or, less frequently, gray. The antennae are composed of 16 segments, the proboscis is long and slender, and the wings are pointed and raised above the body. When alarmed, the insect does not fly away but moves upward along a vertical surface by little jumps.

The Phlebotomidae are distributed on all continents, predominantly in warm countries. In the eastern hemisphere they are found between 45° and 50° N lat. and up to 40° S lat. There are about 500 species. In the USSR there are two genera, Phlebotomus and Sergentomyia, embracing more than 50 species, distributed in Moldavia, the southern Ukraine, Transcaucasia, southern Kazakhstan, and Middle Asia. The males feed primarily on the juices of plants and fruits, and the females suck the blood of various animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and man. Adults inhabit various animal burrows (especially those of rodents), caves, rock crevices, tree hollows, man-made structures (cellars, cracks in walls), and areas for livestock. They are active at twilight and at night.

The digestion of blood is closely associated with egg maturation. The larvae live in various animal burrows or in the soil; they feed on organic matter. The bite of the Phlebotomidae is painful (the effect of the saliva), and the resulting skin reaction and itching last three to seven days. The Phlebotomidae are carriers of the causative agents of pappataci fever (phlebotomus fever) and leishmaniasis.

The reservoirs of the causative agents of these diseases are animals. The insects are controlled by destroying their breeding places (filling cracks in walls and cellars, eradication of rodents and their nests) and treating infested areas with insecticides.

Table 4. Petroleum-refinery capacities (tons; as of beginning of year)
11936 borders of Germany
USA ..........232,000,000356,000,000630,000,000654,000,000
Japan ..........2,600,0001,700,000157,000,000216,000,000
Italy ..........2,100,0005,400,000148,000,000180,000,000
France ..........7,600,00015,000,000116,000,000148,000,000
Federal Republic of Germany ..........2,400,00013,500,000118,000,000135,000,000
Great Britain ..........2,500,0009,900,000115,000,000123,000,000
Total ..........249,200,000391,500,0001,284,000,0001,456,000,000

Repellents (dimethyl phthalate, DETA) are also used; aerosol preparations are especially effective.


Petrishcheva, P. A. Metody izucheniia i profilaktika leishmaniozov i moskitnoi likhoradki. Moscow, 1961.
Pavlovskiy E. N. Prirodnaia ochagovost’ transmissivnykh boleznei v sviazi s landshaftnoi epidemiologiei zooantroponozov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Perfil’ev, P. P. Moskity. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966. (Fauna SSSR. Nasekomye, dvukrylye. vol. 3, issue 2.)
Perfil’ev, P. P. “Semeistvo Phlebotomidae—moskity.” In Opredelitel’nasekomykh Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR, vol. 5. part 1. Leningrad, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The vectors in this case are small flies of family Phlebotomidae, genus Phlebotomus.
The biology of Phlebotomidae in relation to leishmaniasis.
Annual fluctuations of Phlebotomus populations (Diptera, Phlebotomidae) in the province of Grenada (Spain) [in French].