Differential ecology of Anopheles punctulatus and three members of the Anopheles farauti complex of mosquitoes on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, identified by PCR-RFLP analysis


Dr Nigel W. Beebe, Molecular Parasitology Unit, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Technology, Sydney, Gore Hill, NSW 2065, Australia. E-mail: Nigel.Beebe @uts.edu.au


From a series of larval collections made across northern Guadalcanal during the dry season, October–November 1997, four members of the Anopheles punctulatus group of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) were identified using PCR-RFLP analysis. Anopheline larvae were found in 54/57 (95%) of the sites sampled, comprising An. farauti Laveran sensu stricto (32 sites), An. farauti species no. 2 (39 sites), An. farauti no. 7 (36 sites) and An. punctulatus Dönitz (10 sites). Anopheles punctulatus occurred only on the coastal plain, where it was associated with the more transient sites. Anopheles farauti sensu lato was more widespread throughout the survey region, with similar proportions of all three sibling species in both transient and permanent sites. Two members of the An. farauti complex, An. farauti s.s. and species no. 2, were found in brackish water. All breeding sites of An. punctulatus were cohabited by An. farauti s.l., sometimes by all three sibling species. Anopheles farauti s.s. was the only species collected on human bait, with a much higher biting rate early in the evening (57 bites/human/hour at 18.30–20.00 hours) than later (0.8 bites/human/hour at 21.00–24.00 hours).