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Keywords:

  • Rhodnius stali;
  • Rhodnius pictipes;
  • Trypanosoma cruzi;
  • domiciliation;
  • Bolivia;
  • Chagas disease;
  • indigenous health

Summary

We report a systematic collection of Triatominae inside houses and in the peridomestic environment of Alto Beni, department of La Paz, Bolivia. This area is free of Triatoma infestans and although we detected previously seropositivity for Trypanosoma cruzi, the Alto Beni region is not officially considered as endemic for Chagas disease. From 11 houses of five localities, we collected adults, nymphs and eggs of a Rhodnius species, which was confirmed by morphological and morphometric analysis as Rhodnius stali. This little-known species has long been confused with R. pictipes, and was originally described from museum specimens labelled as R. pictipes. Our data show that R. stali is able to establish colonies in domestic and peridomestic habitats in Bolivia, and it is probably the vector responsible for Chagas disease seropositivity observed in the indigenous population of Alto Beni.