The hypothesis of a Neotropical origin of the
Leishmania/Endotrypanum clade is reviewed. The position of
the L. (Sauroleishmania) external to the subgenus L.
(Leishmania) is not consistent with the Neotropical origin of
the latter subgenus. It is suggested that this may be a
consequence of a faster evolutionary rate in the L.
(Sauroleishmania). The implications for the classsification of
the phlebotomine sandflies of the hypothesis for a Neotropical
origin of the Leishmania is also considered. The
classification of Galati (1995) is proposed to be most consistent
with the hypothesis of a Neotropical origin of the
Leishmania, whilst classifications which place the New and
Old World species in separate taxa are inconsistent with this