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Anopheles (Anopheles) messeae Falleroni, 1926

Anopheles messeae has a widespread distribution extending from Ireland across Europe and Asia and into China and Russia. The large range of this species combined with known genetic variability associated with different geographic areas suggests that area-specific biological or behavioural adaptations are likely to have occurred.

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Habitats

Anopheles messeae larvae are typically found in shaded, clear, very slow flowing or stagnant fresh water sites although there are some indications that larvae may also make use of more brackish habitats.  . They have been collected from sites containing reeds, and those containing floating aquatic weeds and algae, relatively open ditches inside forests and clear water in small lakes within dunes.

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Resting and feeding preferences

There is little information regarding the resting preferences of An.  messeae, but the indication is that resting females are commonplace in animal shelters.  This would correspond to the reported zoophilic nature of this species, although this characteristic may depend on the surrounding environment. It has been suggested that An. messeae only divert to feeding from humans when they are present in high densities and there is a shortage of livestock (as may be the case in urban environments). Anopheles messeae females choose hibernation sites in abandoned buildings without animals.

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Vectorial capacity

Anopheles messeae is susceptible to Plasmodium vivax infection but there is some evidence to suggest that this species may be refractory (or essentially refractory) to tropical P. falciparum strains. Anopheles messeae is not considered able to transmit malaria in northwestern Europe and there is some question as to whether that a newly recognised species, Anopheles daciae (Linton, Nicolescu & Harbach), and not An. messeae, could be involved in malaria transmission, which will only be confirmed with further investigation into the epidemiological importance of each respective species.

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Further details and the sources for this text can be found in

Sinka, M.E., Bangs, M.J., Manguin, S., Coetzee, M., Mbogo, C.M., Hemingway, J., Patil, A.P., Temperley, W.H., Gething, P.W., Kabaria, C.W., Okara, R.M., Boeckel, T.V., Godfray, H.C.J., Harbach, R.E. and Hay, S.I. (2010). The dominant Anopheles vectors of human malaria in Africa, Europe and the Middle East: occurrence data, distribution maps and bionomic précis. Parasites & Vectors, 3: 117

This text has come from multiple sources which are all listed in the above paper