The aim of this study was to evaluate the sand fly fauna of American visceral leishmaniasis (AVL) endemic areas within the Central Atlantic Forest Biodiversity Corridor, State of Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil. The sand fly captures were performed between January, 1989 and December, 2003 in localities where autochthonous cases of AVL were recorded, as well as in their boundary areas. Sand flies were collected from surrounding houses and domestic animal shelters using two to five CDC automatic light traps, and manual captures were also performed using mouth aspirators in one illuminated Shannon trap during the first four hours of the night. We used cladistic analysis to determine the geographic relationships among the collected sand fly species as well as the index species for the occurrence of other sand flies. A total of 62,469 sand flies belonging to 17 species and eight genera was collected in 164 localities from nine municipalities with AVL records. The richness (S=17) and diversity (H=0.971) of sand flies were lower than in conservation areas and similar to modified environments in the Atlantic Forest of Espírito Santo. Lutzomyia longipalpis was identified in 79 localities. The cladistic analysis identified Evandromyia lenti as the index species for Lutzomyia longipalpis. The latter seems to be the main vector of AVL in the Central Atlantic Forest Biodiversity Corridor due to its high abundance and distribution matching the disease occurence. Therefore, Evandromyia lenti may be used as an index species for the occurrence of Lutzomyia longipalpis.
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Vol. 37 • No. 1