There have been several important outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases in the Neotropics in recent years, particularly in Brazil. Some taxa are also considered to be indicators of environmental health. Despite the importance of understanding insect abundance and distribution to the understanding of disease dynamics and design strategies to manage them, very little is known about their ecology in many tropical regions. We studied the abundance and diversity of mosquitoes and sand flies in the Bahia State of Brazil, a point of origin for arbovirus outbreaks, including Zika and Chikungunya fever. During 2009-2014, 51 mosquito taxa were identified, belonging to three dipteran families, Ceratopogonidae, Culicidae, and Psychodidae. The family Culicidae, including the Sabethini tribe, were the most abundant (81.5%) and most taxa-rich (n=45). While season (winter and summer) was a strong factor determinant of the occurrence of the most abundant taxa, the stratification level in the forest (ground or tree level) had a strong effect and the dominant taxa at ground level were completely different from the dominant species collected at tree level. We suggest that sites with a mix of forest and agroforestry systems support the highest biodiversity of hematophagous insects as compared to highly disturbed landscapes.
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Vol. 43 • No. 2