Lutzomyia is a genus of "sand flies", in the order Diptera. In the New World, Lutzomyia sand flies are responsible for the transmission of leishmaniasis, an important parasitic disease. Leishmaniasis is generally transmitted in the Old World by sand flies of the genus Phlebotomus. The parasite itself is a species of the genus Leishmania, a protozoan. The disease normally finds a mammalian reservoir in small animals such as rodents and canids. They can also be common inhabitants of caves, where they feed on bats. The sand fly carries the leishmania protozoa from infected animals after feeding, thus transmitting the disease.
Only females suck blood, and they produce some hundreds of eggs, which are deposited in dark, humid places, like under stones and rotten leaves. After 2-3 months, they develop through 3 larval instars and pupate, then become adults, They usually move by short flights, and only bite parts of the body not covered by clothes.