The development of sand flies is dependent upon humidity or moisture in their environment. They usually breed in forest litter, manure, crack and crevices and tree hollows. Sand flies are holometabolous insects and undergo 4 different stages including, eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Autogenous species of sand flies have been observed (reference), while most species are anautogenous. Autogenous species can lay eggs without taking a blood meal. Anautogenous species can take several blood meals. Eggs hatch usually between 4 and 20 days after being laid. Larvae are feed on small organisms such as bacteria and fungi and also on decaying organic matter. Larval development time varies among species but in general it takes 30 to 60 days. Adults of sand flies feed on nectar and other sugar sources. Females feed also on blood to acquire nutrients for the development and maturation of their eggs.
Sand flies prefer to bite on the ears, eyelids, nose, feet and tail of their hosts (reference). Mos species bite during twilight or night. Some species such as Lutzomyia panamensis, Lutzomyia pessoana, Lutzomyia sanguinaria and Lutzomyia trapidoi, all medically important prefer to bite during daytime. The host of sand flies for acquiring blood meal include humans, birds, lizards, bats and other mammals.
Sand flies have the ability to fly but the distance really depend on the species. For Lutzomyia longipalpis, a record of 2.2 km form the release point has been observed in France (reference). Blood feeding and mating usually occur within the same territory. Males of L. longipalpis, for instance emit emit sex pheromone that attract females for mating within the male’s territory.