The phylogenetic relationships among 18 species of Triatominae were inferred based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences. The species of Triatoma included 11 belonging to the infestans complex [T. infestans (Klug), T. guasayana Wygodzinsky & Abalos, T. sordida (Stål), T. platensis Neiva, T. brasiliensis Neiva, T. rubrovaria (Blanchard), T. vitticeps (Stål), T. delpontei Romaña & Abalos, T. maculata (Erichson), T. patagonica Del Ponte, and T. matogrossensis Leite & Barbosa] and four others of the same genus but of different complexes [T. circummaculata (Stål), T. protracta (Uhler), T. dimidiata (Latreille), and T. mazzottii Usinger]. As possible outgroups we used Mepraia spinolai Mazza, Panstrongylus megistus (Burmeister), and Rhodnius prolixus Stål. We analyzed mtDNA fragments of the 12S and 16S ribosomal RNA genes from each of the 18 species, as well as of the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene from nine. The 12S, 16S, and COI gene sequences were analyzed individually and combined. All of the phylogenetic analyses unambiguously supported two clusters: one including T. infestans, T. platensis, and T. delpontei, and the other T. sordida and T. matogrossensis. Inclusion of T. circummaculata into the infestans complex was confirmed, although this is in disagreement with the morphological classification. On the other hand, our analyses showed that T. dimidiata is closely related to a phyllosoma complex species, T. mazzottii. This is consistent with the tentative classification previously made based on morphological characters. The issue of the monophyly of the genus Triatoma remains unresolved.
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Vol. 38 • No. 5