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      The influence of moonlight and lunar periodicity on the efficacy of CDC light trap in sampling Phlebotomus (Larroussius) orientalis Parrot, 1936 and other Phlebotomus sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Ethiopia

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          Phlebotomus orientalis is the main sandfly vector of visceral leishmaniasis in the north and northwest of Ethiopia. CDC light traps and sticky traps are commonly used for monitoring sandfly populations. However, their trapping efficiency is greatly influenced by various environmental factors including moonlight and lunar periodicity. In view of that, the current study assessed the effect of moonlight and lunar periodicity on the performance of light traps in collecting P. orientalis.


          Trapping of P. orientalis and other Phlebotomus spp. was conducted for 7 months between December 2012 and June 2013 using CDC light traps and sticky traps from peri-domestic and agricultural fields. Throughout the trapping periods, collections of sandfly specimens were carried out for 4 nights per month, totaling 28 trapping nights that coincided with the four lunar phases (viz., first quarter, third quarter, new and full moon) distributed in each month.


          In total, 13,533 sandflies of eight Phlebotomus species ( P. orientalis, P. bergeroti, P. rodhaini, P. duboscqi, P. papatasi, P. martini, P. lesleyae and P. heischi) were recorded. The predominant species was P. orientalis in both trapping sites and by both methods of collection in all lunar phases. A significant difference ( P < 0.05) was observed in the mean numbers of P. orientalis and other Phlebotomus spp. caught by CDC light traps among the four lunar phases. The highest mean number (231.13 ± 36.27 flies/trap/night) of P. orientalis was collected during the new moon phases, when the moonlight is absent. Fewer sandflies were attracted to light traps during a full moon. However, the number of P. orientalis and the other Phlebotomus spp. from sticky traps did not differ in their density among the four lunar phases ( P = 0.122).


          Results of the current study demonstrated that the attraction and trapping efficiency of CDC light traps is largely influenced by the presence moonlight, especially during a full moon. Therefore, sampling of sandflies using light traps to estimate population density and other epidemiological studies in the field should take the effect of moonlight and lunar periodicity into account on the trapping efficacy of light traps.

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          Most cited references 37

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          The biology and control of phlebotomine sand flies.

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            Sampling methods for phlebotomine sandflies.

            A review is presented of methods for sampling phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae). Among approximately 500 species of Phlebotominae so far described, mostly in the New World genus Lutzomyia and the Old World genus Phlebotomus, about 10% are known vectors of Leishmania parasites or other pathogens. Despite being small and fragile, sandflies have a wide geographical range with species occupying a considerable diversity of ecotopes and habitats, from deserts to humid forests, so that suitable methods for collecting them are influenced by environmental conditions where they are sought. Because immature phlebotomines occupy obscure terrestrial habitats, it is difficult to find their breeding sites. Therefore, most trapping methods and sampling procedures focus on sandfly adults, whether resting or active. The diurnal resting sites of adult sandflies include tree holes, buttress roots, rock crevices, houses, animal shelters and burrows, from which they may be aspirated directly or trapped after being disturbed. Sandflies can be collected during their periods of activity by interception traps, or by using attractants such as bait animals, CO2 or light. The method of trapping used should: (a) be suited to the habitat and area to be surveyed, (b) take into account the segment of the sandfly population to be sampled (species, sex and reproduction condition) and (c) yield specimens of appropriate condition for the study objectives (e.g. identification of species present, population genetics or vector implication). Methods for preservation and transportation of sandflies to the laboratory also depend on the objectives of a particular study and are described accordingly.
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              Effects of Moonlight and Meteorological Factors on Light and Bait Trap Catches of Noctuid Moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)


                Author and article information

                Parasit Vectors
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central (London )
                15 February 2015
                15 February 2015
                : 8
                [ ]Department of Zoological Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
                [ ]Department of Biology, College of Natural Science, Jigjiga University, Jigjiga, Ethiopia
                [ ]Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, The Institute of Medical Research Israel-Canada The Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
                [ ]Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
                [ ]Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
                © Gebresilassie et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                cdc light traps, lunar cycles, phlebotomus orientalis, visceral leishmaniasis


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