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Variations in the ascoids of the sandfly Phlebotomus argentipes in a population from Patna, northern India



Variations in the ascoids of the sandfly Phlebotomus argentipes in a population from Patna, northern India



Journal of Communicable Diseases 1981; 12(4): 216-218



Phlebotomus argentipes Annan. & Brunetti is the major vector of kala-azar in north-eastern India; its distribution range, which extends from Pakistan to Indonesia and is wider than that of any other phlebotomine species except Sergentomyia indica (Thdr.) in the Oriental Region, has given rise to such considerable geographical variation in morphology and behaviour that it is suggested that P. argentipes may be a species complex. A population collected on cattle from Patna in Bihar, India, was examined carefully and the morphometric characters compared with those of populations from Calcutta and southern India. The ascoids (receptors on the antennal segments) were found to vary in length within the Patna population more than within either of the other populations, and in the Patna population they also varied in shape, being bifurcate or trifurcate in about 30% of the specimens examined while in the other 70% they had the more typical finger-like shape. The implications of the differences in length and shape with regard to biting habits are discussed.

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Accession: 001030745

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PMID: 7320487


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