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Geographic distribution and morphometric differentiation of Triatoma nitida usinger 1939 (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) in Guatemala

DOI: 10.1590/S0074-02762003000100006

Keywords: triatoma nitida, chagas disease, geographic distribution, altitudinal distribution, morphometrics, guatemala.

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Abstract:

triatoma nitida was found in 14 (0.4%) out of 3,726 houses located in six departments across guatemala, which were surveyed from 1994 to 1998 by the man-hour collection method. compared to previous information, the distribution of t. nitida in guatemala has increased from five to nine departments; the species is present in mild climates at altitudes from 960 to 1,500 m. fourteen percent of the intradomestic t. nitida were infected with trypanosoma cruzi. the species was often found in conjunction with other triatomines (t. dimidiata and rhodnius prolixus). the domestic and peridomestic presence of t. nitida in guatemala was rare, but occasionally this species was colonizing human-made constructions. t. nitida appears to have a low importance as chagas disease vector in guatemala, as indicated by its scarce presence in the domestic habitats and defecation patterns. however, it clearly has potential to become a chagas vector so we recommend an on-going study of the intradomestic presence of t. nitida following the control programs in guatemala. morphometric analysis of 47 t. nitida males from three localities showed quantitative differences between the populations, which indicates that geographic distance is an important factor in the structuring of t. nitida populations.

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