Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 163–172 | Cite as

Morphological characteristics of the antennal flagellum and its sensilla chaetica with character displacement in the sandfly Phlebotomus argentipes Annandale and Brunetti sensu lato (Diptera: Psychodidae)

  • K Ilango


Using light microscope and scanning electron microscope, the external morphological characteristics of the antennal flagellum and its sensilla are described in the sandfly, Phlebotomus argentipes Annandale and Brunetti sensu lato, a well known vector of visceral leishmaniasis in India. A revised terminology is given for the antennal segments to bring phlebotomine more in line with other subfamilies and families while a description of antennal sensilla is provided for the first time in phlebotomine sandflies. Each flagellum consists of scape, pedicel, flagellomeres I to XIII and apiculus. The antennal segments contain scales and sensilla and the latter consist of sensilla trichodea, s. basiconica, s. auricillica, s. coeloconica and s. chaetica and their putative functions are discussed.

The sensilla chaeticum hitherto known as antennal ascoid in the phlebotomine sandflies was used to differentiate within and between species. Differences in its relative size to the flagellomere between the populations of P. argentipes collected from the endemic and non-endemic areas in Tamil Nadu state, southern India were established. These differences are considered to be a character displacement as means of premating reproductive isolating mechanism among the populations/members of species complex.


Antennal flagellum character displacement Phlebotomus argentipes sensilla visceral leishmaniasis vector 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altner H 1977 Insect sensillum specificity and structure: an approach to a new typology; in Olfaction and Taste IV (eds) J LeMagnen and P Mac Leod (London: Information Retrieval) pp 295–303Google Scholar
  2. Brown W L Jr and Wilson E O 1956 Character displacement; Syst. Zool. 5 49–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chaika S Y 1975 Electron microscopic investigation of the olfactory sensilla of the sandfly Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Phlebotomidae) (in Russian); in Proceedings of the 2nd All-Union Symposium on Insect Chemoreception, Vilnus, pp 69–75Google Scholar
  4. Christophers S R, Short H E and Barraud P J 1926 The anatomy of the sandfly Phlebotomus argentipes Annandale and Brunetti (Diptera). I. The head and mouth parts of the imago; Indian Med. Res. Mem. 4 177-204Google Scholar
  5. Duckhouse D A 1965 Psychodidae (Diptera: Nematocera) of southern Australia, subfamilies Bruchomiinae and Trichomyiinae; Trans. R. Entomol. Soc. London 117 329–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Duckhouse D A 1972 Psychodidae (Diptera, Nematocera) of south Chile, subfamilies Sycoracinae and Trichomiinae; Trans. R. Entomol. Soc. London 124 231–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Duckhouse D A 1978 Non-phlebotomine Psychodidae (Diptera, Nematocera) of southern Africa. II. Subfamily Psychodinae: Neoarisemus and the brunettoid and telmatoscopoid genera; Ann. Natal Mus. 23 305–359Google Scholar
  8. Duckhouse D A 1987 A revision of Afrotropical Setomima, elucidation of their genealogical relationships and descriptions of Afrotropical Psychodinae (Diptera: Psychodidae); Ann. Natal Mus. 28 231–282Google Scholar
  9. Fairchild G B 1952 Notes on Bruchomyia and Nemopalpus; Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 45 259–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fairchild G B 1955 The relationships and classification of the Phlebotominae; Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 48 182–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hallberg E, Hansson B S and Steinbrecht R A 1994 Morphological characteristics of antennal sensilla in the European cornborer Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae); Tissue Cell 26 489–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hennig W 1972 Insektonfossilien aus der unteren Kreide. IV. Psychodidae (Phlebotominae), mit einer kritischen Ubersicht uber das phylogenetische System der Familie und die bisher beschrienenen Fossilien (Diptera); Stuttg. Beitr. Naturkd. 241 1–69Google Scholar
  13. Ilango K, Dhanda V, Srinivasan R, Sadanand A V and Lane R P 1994 Phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, southern India, in relation to leishmaniasis; Ann. Trop. Med. Parasitol. 88 413–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jefferies D 1987 Labrocibarial sensilla in the female sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis Lutz and Neiva (Diptera: Psychodidae); Can. J. Zool. 65 444–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jobling B 1987 Anatomical drawings of biting flies (London: British Museum, Natural History and the Wellcome Trust) pp 1–119Google Scholar
  16. Jung H F 1956 Beitrage zur Biologie, Morpholologie und Systematik des europaischen Psychodiden (Diptera). Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 3 1–257Google Scholar
  17. Lane R P 1988 Geographic variation in Old World phlebotomine sandflies; in Biosystematics of haematophagus insects (ed.) M W Service (Oxford: The Systematic Association, Clarendon Press) pp 77–90Google Scholar
  18. Lane R P and Fritz G N 1986 The differentiation of the leishmaniasis vector Phlebotomus papatasi from the suspected vector P. bergeroti (Diptera: Phlebotominae); Syst. Entomol. 11 439–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lane R P and Rahman S J 1980 Variation in the ascoids of the sandfly Phlebotomus argentipes in a population from Patna, northern India; J. Commun. Dis. 124 211–218Google Scholar
  20. Lewis D J 1975 Functional morphology of the mouth parts in New World phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae); Trans. R. Entomol. Soc. London 126 497–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lewis D J 1987 Phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) from the Oriental Region; Syst. Entomol. 12 163–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lewis D J and Lane R P 1976 A taxonomic review of Phlebotomus (Idiophlebotomus) (Psychodiddae); Syst. Entomol. 1 50–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McAlpine J F 1981 Ch. 2. Morphology and terminology - adults; in Manual of Nearctic Diptera (eds) J F McAlpine, B V Peterson, G E Shewell, H J Teskey, J R Vockeroth and D M Wood (Quebec: Agriculture Canada Research Branch) Vol. 1, pp 9–63Google Scholar
  24. McIver S B 1982 Sensilla of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae); J. Med. Entomol. 19 489–535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mercer K L and McIver S B 1973 Studies on the antennal sensilla of selected blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae); Can. J. Zool. 51 729–734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Parrot L 1940 Notes sur les phlebotomes. XXXIV. Les epines geniculees des phlebotomes; Arch. Inst. Pasteur Alger 18 307–320Google Scholar
  27. Seccombe A K, Ready P D and Huddleston 1993 A Catologue of Old World Phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodiddae, Phlebotominae); Occas. Pap. Syst. Entomol. 8 1–57Google Scholar
  28. Sinton J A 1925 Notes on some Indian species of the genus Phlebotomus. Part. I. Introduction and description of Phlebotomus annandalei new species; Indian J. Med. Res. 10 742–753Google Scholar
  29. Sinton J A 1925 Notes on some Indian species of the genus Phlebotomus. Part. XII. Phlebotomus argentipes Annandale and Brunetti 1908; Indian J. Med. Res. 12 789–799Google Scholar
  30. Wirth W W and Hubert A A 1989 The Culicoides of Southeast Asia (Diptera: Cerotopongidae); Mem. Am. Entamol. Inst. 44 1–508Google Scholar
  31. Wirth W W and Navai S 1978 Terminology of some antennal sensory organs of Culicoides biting midges (Diptera:Cerotopongidae); J. Med. Entomol. 15 43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yeates D K 1994 The cladistics and classification of the Bombyliidae (Diptera: Asiloidea); Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 219 1–191Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • K Ilango
    • 1
  1. 1.Fresh water Biological StationZoological Survey of IndiaHyderabadIndia

Personalised recommendations