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Anopheles (Cellia) nili species complex

The Anopheles nili complex includes An. carnevalei, An. nili, An. ovengensis and An. somalicus.

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Habitats

Larvae of all members of the An. nili complex are found in vegetation at the edges of fast flowing streams and rivers. However, An. ovengensis and An. carnevalei appear to be restricted to areas of deep forest, whereas An. nili is more abundant along rivers in degraded forest and savannah. A comprehensive survey of the river systems across Cameroon found An. nili larvae associated with sunlit sites whereas An. carnevalei larvae were more commonly found in shaded areas.

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Resting and feeding preferences

Anopheles nili is considered to be strongly anthropophilic, and will readily bite both indoors and out. Females may exploit the behaviour of their human hosts, biting outdoors in the early evening when people are socialising and then continuing to bite indoors once people move inside, with peak feeding occurring after midnight. The resting habits of An. nili are also described as variable. In a lowland region of western Ethiopia, An. nili was rarely found resting indoors despite the high densities found biting indoors, indicating exophilic behaviour. CHowever, populations across Cameroon were found to overwhelmingly rest indoors with only one female captured in an outdoor shelter. In the same study no An. carnevalei females were found resting indoors or in outdoor shelters whereas all resting An. ovengensis captured were found indoors. Conversely, another study stated that An. ovengensis was rarely found resting indoors and concluded it had exophilic habits.

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Vectorial capacity

Amongst members of the complex, An. nili is considered the most important vector, although An. carnevalei and An. ovengensis are implicated as secondary vectors of Plasmodium falciparum in Cameroon. Anopheles somalicus is considered zoo- and exophilic; it was not found to bite humans in Somalia and no females were found in houses in Cameroon despite an abundance of larvae in the area.

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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