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Anopheles (Cellia) sundaicus species complex

Anopheles sundaicus is currently regarded a complex of at least four species: An. sundaicus s.s., An. epiroticus Linton & Harbach, An. sundaicus species D, and An. sundaicus species E.

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Habitats

Members of the complex are predominately coastal vectors as their immature stages develop primarily in habitats containing levels of salinity ranging from low and brackish to sea water concentrations. Populations have also been recorded further inland in association with fresh water, particularly in northeastern India, Car Nicobar Island, peninsular Malaysia, Malaysian Borneo (Miri, Sarawak), northern Sumatra and Java, Indonesia. The distribution of these species, especially Anopheles epiroticus, often occurs in distinct foci along the coast of Thailand and Cambodia. The immature stages generally require sunlit habitats containing pooled stagnant water, algae and non-invasive vegetation. Filamentous floating algae and aquatic plants are crucial for the development of the larvae as they provide food (micro-algae and bacteria) and protection against predators. Particularly favourable habitats include ponds, swamps, lagoons, open mangrove, rock pools and coastal shrimp or fish ponds (active or abandoned/poorly maintained), as well as irrigated inland seawater canals. The close association of An. epiroticus with aquaculture (shrimp and fish farms) in southern Vietnam requires special attention as this economic activity is increasing throughout Southeast Asia.

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Resting and feeding preferences

Females are mainly anthropophilic and exhibit both endophagic and exophagic feeding habits. Peak biting activity typically occurs between 20:00 and 03:00 depending on locality. Blood-engorged females can be found resting inside or outside houses. Varying degrees of indoor and outdoor resting occurs and some members of the complex have been reported to be predominantly endophilic.

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Vectorial capacity

Species of the complex are considered as either major or secondary malaria vectors depending on location. They are regarded as the main vectors of malaria along the coastal areas of India, southern Vietnam and much of Indonesia where they transmit both Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax, and are responsible for local outbreaks. However, their current role in malaria transmission along coastal areas of Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Nicobar Island remains questionable, as well as the more recent role of An. epiroticus in the Mekong Delta (southern Vietnam). The ecological and behavioural plasticity of species of the Sundaicus Complex poses difficulties for developing efficient and appropriate vector control strategies.

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

Sinka, M.E., Bangs, M.J, Manguin, S., Chareonviriyaphap, T., Patil, A.P., Temperley, W.H., Gething, P.W., Elyazar, I.R.F., Kabaria, C.W., Harbach, R.E. and Hay, S.I. (2011). The dominant Anopheles vectors of human malaria in the Asia-Pacific region: occurrence data, distribution maps and bionomic précis. Parasites and Vectors 4: 89

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