The sandfly Lutzomyia whitmani (Antunes & Coutinho) is an important vector for cutaneous leishmaniasis throughout much of Brazil, and has recently been shown to consist of more than one mitochondrial lineage. It has frequently been asserted that the degree of adaptation of L. whitmani to human environments varies across its range. As a standardized test of indoor feeding for three geographically distant populations of L. whitmani, catches inside experimental chicken sheds of varying degrees of wall closure (0%, 33%, 67% and 98%) were compared. Each increment in shed closure reduced catches of females (relative to the most open shed) by a similar degree for each population: geometric mean catches dropped by 11–40% with 33% closure, by 41–62%with 67% closure, and by 69–100% with 98% closure. Geometric mean catches of males from the two more northerly populations also decreased with increasing shed closure, by 18% and 22% for 33% closure, 58% and 69% for 67% closure, 91% and 93%for 98% closure. Males from the most southerly population showed significantly different behaviour, with 33% closure causing a 54% increase in geometric mean catch, 67% closure causing a 6% increase, and 98% closure causing a 32% reduction. For this southerly population, sex ratios became more male biased with increasing density in more closed sheds, suggesting aggregation driven by intra-specific communication. Lutzomyia intermedia (Lutz & Neiva) was relatively more likely than L. whitmani to approach baits in the three more closed sheds, rather than the most open shed, offering a behavioural explanation for observed differences in indoor biting rates between the species.