Variation between geographical populations of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia) whitmani (Antunes & Coutinho, 1939) sensu lato (Diptera:Psychodidae:Phlebotominae) in Brazil.
Phylogenetic analysis of morphometric and biological characters indicated that there are two distinct forms of Lutzomyia whitmani in Brazil: one is present both north and south of the River Amazonas in the State of Pará while the other occurs in northeast Brazil, in the State of Ceará, and further south, including the type locality in State of Bahia. The Amazonian form is reportedly neither strongly anthropophilic nor synanthropic, and it is the vector of Leishmania shawi; whereas the southern form is often collected peridomestically, while biting man, and has been found infected with Le.(V.) braziliensis. The ratio of the length of the genital filaments to that the genital pump was found to be consistently smaller in males of the Amazonian populations. A middle repetitive DNA element was isolated by differentially screening a genomic library made using Amazonian material, and the sequence was diagnostic for this form of Lu. whitmani (being absent or occurring in low copy number in the southern form). The total evidence suggests there are at least two, geographically-isolated forms of Lu. whitmani, which may represent different cryptic species.
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