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Anopheles (Cellia) superpictus Grassi, 1899

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Habitats

Anopheles superpictus larvae are associated with gravel or pebble river and stream beds in shallow, slow-flowing clear water in full sunlight. Typical natural sites are small pools within or next to drying river beds, conditions which are closely related to seasonal fluctuations in precipitation. At such sites, larval abundance increases only in late summer when pools are created as the river levels decline and when water levels rise with the increasing rain during the onset of winter, these locations again become unsuitable as aquatic habitats. Such natural limiting conditions could restrict the distribution, abundance and period of adult activity of this species, however An. superpictus has easily adapted to human-influenced habitats. It makes use of irrigation channels and storage tanks and pools formed from their leakage, rice fields, ditches, borrow pits and hoof prints, amongst others. Anopheles superpictus larvae have also been found in brackish water habitats and in stagnant water but are unlikely to be found in polluted water. Indeed, the decline of An. superpictus in Israel has been closely associated with sewage pollution of many of the natural streams it previously inhabited. Anopheles superpictus survives at relatively high altitudes, up to 2800m, replacing An. sacharovi that may dominate at lower altitudes.

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Resting and feeding preferences

Anopheles superpictus is generally given to be a zoophilic species that also readily feeds on humans. Anopheles superpictus appears to be opportunistic in its feeding habits and will enter houses to feed, but is generally regarded as exophagic.

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Vectorial capacity

Anopheles superpictus is considered to be a dominant malaria vector species.

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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