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1 November 2010 Phenotypic Variability of Rhodnius ecuadoriensis Populations at the Ecuadorian Central and Southern Andean Region
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Abstract

Rhodnius ecuadoriensis is an important vector of Chagas disease in Ecuador. Whereas only sylvatic and peridomestic populations are common in Manabí province, this species occupies domestic, peridomestic, and sylvatic habitats in Loja province where high reinfestation of houses was observed. To explore the existence of phenetic changes linked to the domiciliation of the species, this study set out to analyze the wing and antennal phenotypes of R. ecuadoriensis in these two provinces where the vector presents different affinity for domestic habitats. The antennal phenotype and the wing size and shape distinguish the two geographical populations of R. ecuadoriensis. In Manabí, sylvatic and peridomestic specimens were very similar. In Loja, sylvatic and nonsylvatic (domestic and peridomestic) populations showed distinctive characteristics. Remarkable sexual dimorphism of wing and antenna, exclusive of domestic specimens, and high metric disparity in the wing shape of the domestic females point out the existence of a particular situation in this habitat. The results of this phenotypic analysis and previous evidence of behavioral differences support the hypothesis of disruptive selection acting upon R. ecuadoriensis populations.

© 2010 Entomological Society of America
Anita G. Villacís, Mario J. Grijalva, and Silvia S. Catalá "Phenotypic Variability of Rhodnius ecuadoriensis Populations at the Ecuadorian Central and Southern Andean Region," Journal of Medical Entomology 47(6), 1034-1043, (1 November 2010). https://doi.org/10.1603/ME10053
Received: 2 March 2010; Accepted: 1 August 2010; Published: 1 November 2010
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