Both Lutzomyia intermedia sensu lato (Lutz & Neiva) and its closest relative
Lutzomyia whitmani (Autunes & Countinho, 1939) are incriminated vectors of
Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis (Vianna, 1911) in Brazil, Leishmaniasis.
Although the geographical ranges of the species overlap considerably, work over the last 50
years has shown that Lu. intermedia is more synanthropic and independent from
forest. In addition, Lu. intermedia is highly endophagic while Lu. whitmani,
although often abundant peridomestically, does not enter houses to such a great degree.
Endophagy is epidemiologically important as it increases both human-sand fly contact and the
proportion of bites on children, and raises the possibility of vector control with insecticides via
house-spraying or impregnated bednets. Results obtained during a recent study of sand fly
behaviour in Paraná suggest a possible mechanism for the relatively greater endophagy
of Lu. intermedia over Lu. whitmani.