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1 January 2008 Behavioral Plasticity of Triatominae Related to Habitat Selection in Northeast Brazil
Ana Laura Carbajal de la Fuente, Artur Dias-Lima, Catarina Macedo Lopes, Laure Emperaire, Annie Walter, Agenor Ferreira, Italo Sherlock, François Noireau
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Abstract

Triatoma pseudomaculata Corrêa and Espínola, 1964 and Triatoma juazeirensis Costa and Felix, 2007 (=T. brasiliensis Neiva, 1911 [part]), are sylvatic vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas, 1909), the causative agent of Chagas disease, in northeast Brazil—especially in the caatinga region. In an area of caatinga in the State of Bahia, we compared the wild and peridomestic habitats of these two species of Triatominae to assess their behavioral plasticity in relation to habitat selection in different environments. In the sylvatic environment, the habitat of these two species is never shared. T. pseudomaculata is found in trees and bird nests, but without apparent preference for any particular tree species. In contrast, T. juazeirensis is exclusively rupicolous (found among rocks). Both species invade peridomestic structures but do not display a significant ability to colonize human dwellings. In the peridomestic area, they are highly adaptable to different habitats and can occupy substrates that they do not colonize in the sylvatic environment. This behavioral plasticity seems to be more striking in T. juazeirensis—rupicolous in sylvatic environments but colonizing wooden structures in the peridomicile in >80% of cases.

Ana Laura Carbajal de la Fuente, Artur Dias-Lima, Catarina Macedo Lopes, Laure Emperaire, Annie Walter, Agenor Ferreira, Italo Sherlock, and François Noireau "Behavioral Plasticity of Triatominae Related to Habitat Selection in Northeast Brazil," Journal of Medical Entomology 45(1), 14-19, (1 January 2008). https://doi.org/10.1603/0022-2585(2008)45[14:BPOTRT]2.0.CO;2
Received: 9 January 2007; Accepted: 31 July 2007; Published: 1 January 2008
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KEYWORDS
Brazil
peridomicile
sylvatic environment
Triatoma juazeirensis
Triatoma pseudomaculata
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