This photograph depicts a Phlebotomus papatasi sand fly, which had landed atop the skin surface of the photographer, who'd volunteered himself as host for this specimen's blood meal. The sand flies are members of the Dipteran family, Psychodidae, and the subfamily Phlebotominae. This specimen was still in the process of ingesting its bloodmeal, which is visible through its distended transparent abdomen. Sand flies such as this P. papatasi, are responsible for the spread of the vector-borne parasitic disease Leishmaniasis, which is caused by the obligate intracellular protozoa of the genus Leishmania.
CDC/ Frank Collins
November 6, 2012
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