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Methods of finding larvae and pupae of phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) are described and the known types of breeding sites used by sandflies are listed. Three ways of detecting sandfly breeding places are the use of emergence traps placed over potential sources to catch newly emerged adult sandflies; flotation of larvae and pupae from soil, etc., and desiccation of media to drive out the larvae. Even so, remarkably little information is available on the ecology of the developmental stages of sandflies, despite their importance as vectors of Leishmania, Bartonella and phleboviruses affecting humans and other vertebrates in warmers parts of the world. Regarding the proven or suspected vectors of leishmaniases, information on breeding sites is available for only 15 out of 29 species of sandflies involved in the Old World and 12 out of 44 species of sandflies involved in the Americas, representing ∼3% of the known species of Phlebotominae.Ecotopes occupied by immature phlebotomines are usually organically rich moist soils, such as the rain forest floor (Lutzomyia intermedia, Lu. umbratilis, Lu. whitmani in the Amazon; Lu. gomezi, Lu. panamensis, Lu. trapidoi in Panama), or contaminated soil of animal shelters (Lu. longipalpis s.l. in South America, Phlebotomus argentipes in India; P. chinensis in China; P. ariasi, P. perfiliewi, P. perniciosus in Europe). Developmental stages of some species (P. langeroni and P. martini in Africa; P. papatasi in Eurasia; Lu. longipalpis s.l. in South America), have been found in a wide range of ecotopes, and many species of sandflies employ rodent burrows as breeding sites, although the importance of this niche is unclear. Larvae of some phlebotomines have been found in what appear to be specialized niches such as Lu. ovallesi on buttress roots of trees in Panama; P. celiae in termite hills in Kenya; P. longipes and P. pedifer in caves and among rocks in East Africa. Old World species found as immatures in the earthen floor of human habitations include P. argentipes, P. chinensis, P. martini and P. papatasi. Much more information on sandfly breeding sites is required to facilitate their control by source reduction.