Sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) are inconspicuous, hematophagous insects, inhabiting tropical, subtropical, arid as well as temperate regions worldwide. Of the approximately 850 species described, 70 are of medical and veterinary relevance by transmitting parasites (Leishmania spp.), bacteria (Bartonella bacilliformis) and several arthropod-borne (arbo) viruses. In Europe, 23 sand fly species are known to occur. Within Europe, sand flies were considered to be endemic only to the Mediterranean regions and the Alps were considered to display a natural barrier for their northward distribution. However, a Central European occurrence of sand flies was proven by findings of sand flies in Germany in 1999. In 2009 Phlebotomus mascittii, the most widely distributed sand fly species in Europe, was also found in Austria for the first time. Sand flies in Central Europe are considered to be remnants of post-glacial dispersal from Mediterranean refugial areas. Small populations have remained in microclimatically suited habitats and were overlooked for a long time. Several recent findings proof that known populations are stable, but the actual distribution of sand flies in Central Europe still needs to be surveyed.
The PhD thesis “Phylogeography of Austrian sand fly populations – where do they come from and where will they go?” at the Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine of the Medical University of Vienna aims to clarify the current sand fly distribution and species composition in Austria, potential dispersal routes and the medical relevance of Austrian sand flies as vectors for pathogens. Proven species are identified by morphologic and molecular methods and DNA-barcodes will be generated.
Project status: completed
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- 9th ABOL meeting 2022 – a retrospect24. November, 2022 - 13:24
After 2 years of virtual conferences, we were very happy to be able to hold the ABOL annual conference physically again this year. On November 18th the time had come. The 9th ABOL conference took place in the Haus für Natur, Museum Niederösterreich, after the 5th Austrian Biodiversity Forum. As usual, the lecture program was […]
- ABOL goes Zambia14. November, 2022 - 23:43
DNA barcoding workshop at the University of Zambia In early October, ABOL held a DNA barcoding workshop at the University of Zambia (UNZA) in Lusaka together with Prof. Cyprian Katongo. The workshop – as part of the OeAD cooperation development research project “DNA barcoding of Zambia’s biodiversity” (led by the University of Graz) – […]
- ABOL BioBlitz in the National Park Hohe Tauern3. August, 2022 - 15:02
Once again this year, the Biodiversity Day in the National Park Hohe Tauern was not accompanied by good weather. With gusts of wind, cold, rain and occasional windows of sunshine, dedicated experts collected biodiversity data again last weekend – this year in the Carinthian part of the National Park in the Maltatal. The high altitudes […]