Comparisons were made among Panstrongylus megistus (Burmeister) from three areas of Brazil (Bahia, Minas Gerais, and Santa Catarina), where populations differ with regard to their degree of association with human dwellings. The following characters were studied: morphology of the eggs and the male genitalia; morphometry of the head and thorax; isoenzyme profile; enzymatic activity of the ∝-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (∝-GPDH); and cytogenetics. In general, differences were observed in the weight, diameter, and length of the egg among Bahia, Minas Gerais, and Santa Catarina populations. Differences were not observed in the architecture of the egg exochorion. The size of the median process of the pygophore of the male genitalia of individuals from Bahia differed from the other two populations. The Minas Gerais population presented the largest number of denticles in the endosome process. The morphometry of the head and thorax differentiated Santa Catarina from the Bahia and Minas Gerais populations. Phosphoglucomutase (EC 188.8.131.52., PGM) was the only enzyme out of 11 that showed polymorphism; the population from Minas Gerais was most polymorphic, whereas the population from Santa Catarina was monomorphic. Study of the ∝-GPDH activity and cytogenetics did not reveal differences among the three populations. Analysis of all the characters studied together with information on these three populations from previous publications allowed a phenogram to be constructed. Two distinct groups were evident, one represented by Santa Catarina and the other by Bahia and Minas Gerais. Considering the greater variability of the Minas Gerais and Bahia populations, we propose the inclusion of these states within the area of origin of P. megistus.
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Vol. 40 • No. 4