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Anopheles (Anopheles) pseudopunctipennis species complex

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Habitats

The larvae of An. pseudopunctipennis are most frequently found in sun-exposed, shallow, clear and freshwater streams or river pools with abundant filamentous algae, although there are a number of reports of larvae found in turbid, cloudy water, including at one site polluted with cow faeces. The majority of larval habitats have fresh water, but about 10% contain brackish or sea water. Past studies conducted in Grenada suggested that An. pseudopunctipennis was restricted to still or stagnant water but more recent investigations on this island indicate that it can survive in slow flowing water bodies, possibly protected against the current by mats of Spirogyra-type green filamentous algae. The presence of such filamentous algae is a key characteristic associated with larval habitats of this species. Indeed, a study that examined the potential impact of An. pseudopunctipennis control via environmental manipulation demonstrated significant reductions in densities after the removal of filamentous algae from larval sites.

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Resting and feeding preferences

Anopheles pseudopunctipennis appears to feed almost indiscriminately on humans and domestic animals, indoors or outdoors. Studies conducted in southern Mexico found that a greater proportion of An. pseudopunctipennis were attracted to horse-baited traps than to humans (although significant numbers were captured on humans), however in a previous study in the same four villages, a high proportion of the An. pseudopunctipennis females resting indoors contained human blood. Host availability may be responsible for host selection, with An. pseudopunctipennis females biting the first suitable host they encounter, and hence it is not considered to be highly anthropophilic, but more opportunistic in nature. Anopheles. pseudopunctipennis has been described as exophilic and indoor residual spraying with DDT may have not only increased insecticide resistance in some areas, but also promoted exophilic behaviour. Nonetheless there is evidence to show that some females will rest indoors both before and after feeding. Anopheles pseudopunctipennis bites during the night, with small variations in peak activity depending on location and host. Single peaks, with indoor biting peaking at 01:00 and outdoor biting peaking slightly earlier at midnight have been demonstrated. A bimodal biting pattern on horse bait, where biting peaked at 19:00, with a second, smaller peak occurring between midnight and 01:00 has also been documented.

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Vectorial capacity

Anopheles pseudopunctipennis is a dominant malaria species complex that can survive and transmit malaria at altitudes higher than many other species, with its range extending up to approximately 3000m.

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

Sinka, M.E., Rubio-Palis, Y., Manguin, S., Patil, A.P., Temperley, W.H., Gething, P.W., Van Boeckel, T.P., Kabaria, C.W., Harbach, R.E. and Hay, S.I. (2010). The dominant Anopheles vectors of human malaria in the Americas: occurrence data, distribution maps and bionomic précis. Parasites & Vectors, 3:72

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