Attraction of Phlebotomus papatasi to common fruit in the field

Authors

  • Amy Junnila,

    1. Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Kuvin Centre for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, 91120
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  • Günter C. Müller,

    1. Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Kuvin Centre for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, 91120
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  • Yosef Schlein

    1. Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Kuvin Centre for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, 91120
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ABSTRACT:

Sand flies have been reported feeding on various plant organs including stems, leaves, and flowers but the attraction of sand flies to sugar-rich fruits has received little attention. In this study, we tested 24 commercially available fruits for their attractiveness to sand flies, and found that the top three attractive fruits were nectarine (Prunus persica var. nectarina), cactus fruit, (Opuntia ficus-indica), and guava (Psidium guajava). These fruits were fed upon equally by both males and females. There were slight differences in the order of preference to the less-attractive fruits by males and females, but these were not statistically significant. The knowledge of fruit preference may help to improve existing methods that use plant phytochemicals to attract and kill biting flies.

Ancillary