Parasitology Research

, Volume 113, Issue 6, pp 2295–2301 | Cite as

New record of the suspected leishmaniasis vector Phlebotomus (Transphlebotomus) mascittii Grassi, 1908 (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) — the northernmost phlebotomine sandfly occurrence in the Palearctic region

  • Christian Melaun
  • Andreas Krüger
  • Antje Werblow
  • Sven KlimpelEmail author
Original Paper


Although being typical Mediterranean faunal elements, phlebotomine sandflies have also been recorded in central Europe for several countries including Germany, where two species, Phlebotomus mascittii and Phlebotomus perniciosus, occur. In Europe, P. mascittii is the northernmostly distributed phlebotomine species. While P. perniciosus is a proven vector of leishmaniasis as well as various sandfly fever causing phleboviruses, the situation for P. mascittii is different. For this species, vector competence could not be proven yet, but is strongly suspected. During an entomological survey in July 2013, one female sandfly was caught in Giessen in the German state of Hesse. Adjacent to the collection site, different potential habitats could be found. Morphological examination of the cibarium, pharynx, and genitalia revealed the specimen as P. mascittii. This is the first reported occurrence for Hesse, and not only the northernmost documented occurrence for P. mascittii, but also of the whole subfamily in the Palearctic region. New records of proven or suspected vectors are of medical relevance because of potential Leishmania and/or Phlebovirus transmission and the awareness therefore in the public.


Phlebotomus mascittii Palearctic region Phlebotominae Northernmost locality Leishmaniasis Vector 



The present study was financially supported by the research funding programme “LOEWE—Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz” of Hesse's Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the Arts, by the SAW (Senate Competition Committee) grant (SAW-2014-SGN-3) of the Leibniz Association as well as the German Research Council (BiodivERsA grant no. DFG KL 2087/6-1).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Melaun
    • 1
  • Andreas Krüger
    • 2
  • Antje Werblow
    • 1
  • Sven Klimpel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Ecology, Evolution and DiversityGoethe-University (GU), Biodiversity and Climate Research Center (BiK-F), Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN)60438 Frankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Department Tropical MedicineMilitary Hospital HamburgHamburgGermany

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