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Anopheles (Anopheles) sacharovi Favre, 1903

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Habitats

Anopheles sacharovi breeds in all small water collections containing aquatic vegetation. It makes use of fresh water habitats but is also described as tolerant of salinity (up to 20%) and can survive in waters up to 38-40°C. Although it is generally considered to breed in stagnant waters, it can also cope with some, albeit weak, current. There is general agreement that this species prefers sunlit sites with plenty of emergent and/or floating vegetation. A typical habitat would be an area of swamp or marsh but larvae are also found at margins of rivers, streams and springs, seepages, wadis, pools and ditches. It is associated with rice cultivation and other irrigated areas, specifically where irrigation channels are poorly constructed causing leakage, creating boggy areas or standing water. Despite its apparent adaptability, An. sacharovi cannot tolerate organic pollutants to the extent that these may have had a greater impact than the wide-scale indoor residual spraying of DDT in Israel in the 1960s.

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Resting and feeding preferences

Anopheles sacharovi females feed opportunistically, despite being generally considered as anthropophilic. Indeed, bloodmeal analysis of resting females collected in bedrooms found that only 38.5% had fed solely on humans, with 38.5% having fed on other animals and 23% identified as having mixed meals from both human and other animals. In the presence of equally available hosts (human, cow, sheep, chicken, horse and donkey), An. sacharovi was found to preferentially feed on donkeys, and had a negative preference for humans. Anopheles sacharovi can bite during the day in deeply shaded locations, however, females generally starts biting in the early evening, peaking between 20:00 and 21:00 or 22:00 and have been observed to bite indoors and outdoors. Biting location is likely to be driven by host behaviour, for example, in the hotter parts of Turkey where both people and animals spend the night outdoors, biting tends towards exophagy. Anopheles sacharovi is principally described as endophilic. It has been observed feeding on cows outside, and then entering houses or abandoned shelters to rest, and has been found in cow sheds, chicken coops and bedrooms, and less commonly in pit shelters. However, insecticide residual spraying in many areas has apparently affected this endophilic behaviour although there is evidence that once these programmes ceased, An. sacharovi begins to revert to more typical endophilic behavioural patterns. Hibernating females often makes use of the same localities chosen for resting in the summer months.

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Vectorial capacity

Anopheles sacharovi  is considered to be a dominant malaria vector species and has been the target of a number of focussed, anti-vector campaigns across its range including Israel, Greece and Turkey, yet this species still persists in all areas. Anopheles sacharovi is highly plastic in both adult behaviour and its choice of larval habitats.

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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