Comparative performance of light trap types, lunar influence and sandfly abundance in Baringo district, Kenya

Sichangi Kasili, Philip M Ngumbi, Hellen Koka, Francis G Ngere, Elizabeth Kioko, Nicholas Odemba, Helen L Kutima
2010 Journal of Vector Borne Diseases  
Phlebotomine sandflies are vectors of leishmaniases and viral infections as well as being a biting nuisance. In Kenya, Leishmania donovani is transmitted by Phlebotomus martini (Diptera: Psychodidae) whereas vectors of L. major, L. tropica and L. aethiopica are P. duboscqi, P. pedifer and P. guggisbergi respectively 1,2 . Baringo district has an arid to semi-arid climate and is a home to a wide range of sandfly species 3 . It boasts of 11-17 sandfly species 3,4 . Historically, robust capture
more » ... , robust capture sites have been found in the vicinity of the town of Marigat where sandfly habitats include human habitations, pit-latrines, animal sheds, termite hills, animal burrows and tree holes 4,5 . Termite mounds have been found to harbour greater numbers of manbiting sandflies than other resting places and have been shown to be a habitat of importance to the epidemiology of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) 3-5 . The lunar cycle is known to influence adult flight behaviour of many insects including those of the order Diptera, particularly Culicidae 6 . In one study, few sandflies were attracted to light traps during full moon 7 . Limited studies have been carried out in Kenya to demonstrate an influence of the lunar cycle on phlebotomine sandfly abundance. Although sandflies have great medical significance besides being biting nuisances, few studies have focused on determining the most efficient trapping strategies 8 . One study involved comparing a CDC light trap, two types of updraft traps that were designed for trapping sandflies in the field and a sticky trap near Marigat animal burrows 9 . Results indicated that one of the updraft traps collected relatively more sandflies and both updraft traps were more consistent in terms of sandflies caught than other traps. The more improved blacklight (UV) updraft and downdraft light traps are thought to attract more sandflies than white incandescent light but they have not been widely tested on Kenyan sandfly species. The current paper presents data on sandfly abundance in Marigat in three different locations and two lunar phases as well as relative performance of the CDC miniature light trap, updraft blacklight and downdraft blacklight traps. The study was conducted in Marigat area that is located within Marigat administrative division of Baringo district, Rift valley province, Kenya. Baringo district covers an area of approximately 10,000 km 2 . The area is semi-arid standing at an altitude between 530 and 685 m with several rocky hills rising above this level. The vegetation is generally sparse due to over-grazing by livestock and consists mainly of thorny bushes and Acacia trees with little ground
pmid:20539049 fatcat:jg6ntzt3hbgctkfbykjj4khtjq