Abstract

A survey of natural ecotopes of Triatoma infestans dark morph and other triatomine sylvatic species was performed in an uninhabited area of the Bolivian Chaco. Among the 321 triatomines collected by light trapping, only 4 T. infestans dark morph specimens were identified. Predominant flying species were T. guasayana and T. sordida group 2(51·7% and 37·1% of capture, respectively). The same species prevailed in terrestrial and epiphytic bromeliads where scarce T. infestans dark morph nymphal instars were also detected. In parrot nests T. delpontei prevailed broadly over other species (90·2% of the capture) and only 4 T. infestans dark morph adults were collected. In contrast, T. infestans dark morph was the predominant species captured in hollow trees (46·0% of the total collected). The abundance of immature forms (88·2% of the collection) shows that hollow trees constitute a favourable ecotope for this species. Of the 421 trees investigated, 33·7% were positive for triatomines. T. infestans dark morph, found inside 15·0% of them, also had higher apparent density than other species (average number of T. infestans in positive trees, 2·0 ± 1·6 vs 1·3 ± 0·6 for other species). Light trapping seems to be an efficient method to sample the T. sordida-T. guasayana complex in that it shows a similar distribution to that observed in natural ecotopes; however, this method is ineffective for the assessment of the local abundance of T. infestans dark morph.

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