We investigated the nocturnal activity of cave-dwelling sand flies at different time intervals and determined their species composition and seasonal variation. Sand flies were captured on one night each month using CDC light traps from 18:00-06:00 with the collecting bag being changed every two h between February, 2010 and January, 2011. A total of 18,709 individuals, including 10,740 males and 7,969 females, was collected. The overall ratio between male and female specimens was 1:0.74. The collected specimens included 14 species from four genera, Chinius, Idiophlebotomus, Phlebotomus, and Sergentomyia. Sergentomyia phadangensis was the most abundant species (comprising 31.9% of the collected individuals), followed by Se. anodontis (22.8%) and Ph. mascomai (18.2%). The highest number of specimens was collected in July (15.6%), followed by May (15.5%) with the peak of collection recorded at the time interval of 00:01–02:00, followed by 22:01–00:00. However, there were no significant differences observed among time intervals of sand fly collections (p=0.154). Observations of the nocturnal activity of male and female sand flies throughout the night suggest that phlebotomine sand flies show the greatest activity level after midnight.
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Vol. 43 • No. 1