The transmission of pathogens that cause leishmaniases occurs by the bite of female sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in their vertebrate hosts, which makes the identification of their bloodmeal sources an important step for the control and epidemiology of these diseases. In Brazil, the state of Roraima has a great diversity of sand flies, vertebrate hosts, and protozoan Leishmania, but little is known about the host blood-feeding preferences of sand flies. Thus, we evaluated the bloodmeal sources of sand flies collected from their sylvatic habitats in Parque Nacional do Viruá, Roraima. Fieldwork was carried-out between 13th and 18th August 2019 using CDC light traps. Sand flies were slide-mounted and morphologically identified using the head and last segments of the abdomen. Engorged females had their DNA extracted, followed by amplification and sequencing of the cytochrome b (cytb) molecular marker for vertebrates. Sequences were analyzed and compared with those from GenBank using the BLASTn search tool, in addition to the reconstruction of a phylogenetic tree to demonstrate the clustering pattern of these sequences. A total of 1,209 sand flies were identified, comprising 20 species, in which the most abundant were Psychodopygus ayrozai (Barretto and Coutinho) (42.10%) and Psychodopygus chagasi (Costa Lima) (26.22%). Bloodmeal source identification was successfully performed for 34 sand flies, that confirm four vertebrate species, being the most abundant the armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758 (Cingulata: Dasypodidae).
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Vol. 58 • No. 6