The control of triatomine insects is necessary because these insects are the principal vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease. Nevertheless, some of these vectors, such as Triatoma protracta, have not been studied adequately and their importance and taxonomic status has not yet been defined in detail and must be reevaluated in view of the continuing taxonomic uncertainties associated with the species. To help clarify the taxonomic status of T. protracta, the eggs and genital plates of two morphotypes were analyzed. Qualitative and quantitative morphological differences were observed in two morphotypes, designated T. p. protracta and T. p. nahuatlae according to Ryckman (1962). The morphotype T. p. protracta exhibited large and wide eggs with pores forming large padded polygonal structures, whereas the eggs of the morphotype T. p. nahuatlae were small and smooth. The size of the 9th genital urosternite was longer and wider in females in contrast to males in both morphotypes. However, these size differences were relatively greater in T. p. protracta. The high morphological variation found between the morphotypes of T. protracta suggests that they should be separated. Accordingly, it is probable that this group should be re-classified.
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Vol. 37 • No. 1