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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 153-162

Morphometric discrimination between females of two isomorphic sand fly species, Phlebotomus caucasicus and Phlebotomus mongolensis (Diptera: Phlebotominae) in endemic and non-endemic foci of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran


1 Department of Medical Entomology and Vector control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Insect Taxonomy Research Department, Iranian Research Institute of Plant Protection, Tehran, Iran
5 Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Yavar Rassi
Department of Medical Entomology and Vector control, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.257115

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Objective: To delineate reliable morphological characteristics for identifying and separating female Phlebotomus caucasicus and Phlebotomus mongolensis which exist sympatrically in the main foci of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran. Methods: Sand flies were collected using sticky trap papers from active colonies of rodent burrows installed from 16 catching sites. Morphometric measurements were analyzed of 87 Phlebotomus caucasicus and 156 Phlebotomus mongolensis. Univariate and multivariate analysis were carried out to determine significant morphometric variables for discrimination of the two species. Finally, seven morphological characteristics of 65 female Phlebotomus caucasicus and 124 female Phlebotomus mongolensis were described. Results: Univariate and multivariate analyses of 10 morphometric variables via Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) showed that five morphometric variables had an accuracy of 100% for discriminating female Phlebotomus caucasicus and Phlebotomus mongolensis. Moreover, PCA revealed that the five morphometric variables with the highest loadings separated these two species. Morphological studies on antennal flagellum (and its associated structures) and mouth-parts of female specimens demonstrated significant differences in several structures. Conclusions: The results show that morphological and morphometrical features can be used to discriminate two female isomorphic species, Phlebotomus caucasicus and Phlebotomus mongolensis accurately.


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