A white Shannon-type trap was used for captures of female sand flies in the search for natural infection with flagellates, however, due to its low productivity and as a large number of phlebotomines settled on the researchers' black clothes, we decided to compare the relative attractiveness of black and white Shannon-type traps for sand flies. Several pairs of black and white traps were placed side by side in front of caves in four areas in the Serra da Bodoquena, Bonito county, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, for a total of 12 observations and 44 h of capture. The experiment resulted in 889 phlebotomines captured, 801 on the black and 88 on the white trap, representing 13 species. The hourly Williams' means were 8.67 and 1.24, respectively, and the black/white ratio was 7.0:1.0. Lutzomyia almerioi, an anthropophilic species closely associated with caves, was predominant (89%). Only two other species, Nyssomyia whitmani and Psathyromyia punctigeniculata, also anthropophilic, were significantly attracted to the black rather than to the white trap (chi2 test; p <= 0.01). The difference between the diversity index of the two traps was not significant at level 0.05. The black trap in these circumstances was much more productive than the white, especially for anthropophilic species.