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Anopheles (Cellia) moucheti Evans, 1925

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Habitats

Anopheles moucheti is the only dominant vector species with its range entirely restricted to forested areas, specifically where the canopy is broken allowing sunlight to penetrate to the ground, such as is found where large rivers flow through the forest. Human activity, such as road building, settlements or cultivation, can therefore be beneficial to this species by breaking up the forest canopy, although larger areas of deforestation may decrease the density of An. moucheti and allow replacement by An. gambiae. Anopheles moucheti larvae are found at the edges of large, slow flowing or lentic rivers, often with turbid waters, and are associated with Pistia species (water lettuce/water cabbage). Along the river networks of southern Cameroon, the greatest numbers of An. moucheti larvae were found along the margins of rivers within deep evergreen forest, substantially fewer in degraded forest and none in savannah areas. Where they were found, larvae were abundant near to areas of human habitation.

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Resting and feeding preferences

Anopheles moucheti is highly anthropophilic and endophilic, possibly due to the lack of domestic animals found within forested environments. Anopheles moucheti is also described as highly endophagic, however this characteristic appears to be less clear cut. For example, in urbanised forested environments (where An. moucheti was found to be less abundant and replaced by An. gambiae) only 43% of females were found biting indoors, whereas in the rural areas (where An. moucheti was dominant), 66% were found biting indoors. In a study conducted in a village only 2km from Yaounde, Cameroon, 51% of females were reported biting indoors. Resting behaviour of female An. moucheti appears endophilic. In a countrywide survey of Cameroon, 1234 resting females were located indoors, whereas only 12 were captured in outdoor shelters. Biting time has been reported as gradually increasing towards the second half of the night to dawn.

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Vectorial capacity

Although the range of Anopheles moucheti is restricted to equatorial forests, it derives its status as a dominant vector species from its highly anthropophilic and endophilic behaviour.

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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