Mitochondrial Gene Confirms the Specific Status of Triatoma pintodiasi Jurberg, Cunha, and Rocha, 2013 (Hemiptera, Triatominae), an Endemic Species in Brazil
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Chagas disease is most frequently transmitted to humans through contact with feces of insects from the Triatominae subfamily. In Brazil, there are 65 species of triatomines distributed throughout the country's 27 states. Among the species in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Triatoma rubrovaria, Triatoma oliveirai, Triatoma pintodiasi, Triatoma klugi, Triatoma carcavalloi, and Triatoma circummaculata (with the addition Triatoma limai, which is endemic to Argentina) form the T. rubrovaria subcomplex. The last species described and grouped into this subcomplex was T. pintodiasi. Thus, this study characterized the genetic distance between T. pintodiasi and of the other members of the T. rubrovaria subcomplex to evaluate the specific status of T. pintodiasi. The genetic distance observed between T. pintodiasi and the other species of the T. rubrovaria subcomplex was large, a finding which highlights the specific status of the species considered to be cryptic of T. circummaculata.