Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Order Diptera
Family Psychodidae

Also known as: Sandflies


The flies of this family are called Sandflies, with Phelebotomus the genus of real veterinary significance. However, in the New World, the genus Lutzomyia, is also of importance.



Most mammals, reptiles, birds and humans.


The adults are small flies, only around 5mm in length. They have hairy bodies, and are a yellowish colour. Males have prominent genital terminalia, known as claspers. Both males and females have long, 16 segment antennae.

The eggs are dark brown or black.

Life Cycles

Eggs are laid, and hatch into larvae in 1-2 weeks. The larvae then undergo four further larval stages, before reaching the pupae stage. The adults emerge from pupation around 10 days later.

The complete life cycle is between 30-100 days.


Lutzomyia is responsible for transmission of leishmaniasis. The sand fly carries the disease from infected animals, and then infects a new host whilst feeding, thus transmitting the disease.

Only the females suck blood, and lays large numbers of eggs in dark, humid areas. They undergo three larval transformations before pupating, and then turn into adults.

Psychodidae Learning Resources
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