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Keywords:

  • Geographical distribution;
  • diversity;
  • richness;
  • altitudinal structuring

ABSTRACT:

An entomological study was conducted from June to September, 2010 in rural regions of Azarbayjan-e-sharqi, Azarbayjan-e-qarbi, and Ardabil provinces in northwestern Iran to determine sand fly fauna, diversity, and distribution in different habitats and altitudes using both sticky papers and light traps. Geographical distribution of sand flies and the similarity of populations in different locations were analyzed ecologically based on the Shannon-Wiener Index and Jacard Coefficient, respectively. A total of 3,982 specimens was collected and sixteen species recorded. They belonged to the genera Phlebotomus [subgenus Phlebotomus (P. papatasi), Paraphlebotomus (P. sergenti, P. mongolensis, P. caucasicus, P. jacusieli), Larroussius (P. major s.l., P. tobbi, P. perfiliewi transcaucasicus, P. kandelakii) and Adlerius (P. halepensis, P. brevis, P. longiductus, P. balcanicus)], and Sergentomyia [subgenus Sergentomyia (S. sintoni, S. dentata and S. theodori)]. P. papatasi was the predominant species in all the locations except Bileh Savar, Macu, and Meshkin Shahr, followed by P. perfiliewi transcaucasicus and P. kandelakii. The latter species were caught from different habitats and altitudes with higher frequency than other species of the subgenus Larroussius. The lowest abundance belonged to P. jacusieli. The predominant species of subgenus Adlerius was P. halepensis. Data analysis showed that Meshkin Shahr and Bileh Savar had high and low diversities of sand fly distribution, respectively. Meshkin Shahr and Sarab districts had the highest similarity. Both are located in the foothills of Sabalan Mountain, with high diversity and richness.