Shared salinity tolerance invalidates a test for the malaria vector Anopheles farauti s.s. on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands


Dr Joan H. Bryan, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia 4072.


Among the Punctulatus Group of Anopheles mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae), first-instar larvae of the medically unimportant freshwater Anopheles farauti species No. 7 survives a seawater tolerance test (STT) that was previously thought to be diagnostic for the saltwater-tolerant malaria vector species, An. farauti Laveran s.s. Salt tolerance in these two closely related isomorphic species appears to be a shared derived character within the Farauti Complex. Failure to differentiate An. farauti s.s. from An. farauti No.7 will overestimate potential malaria vector numbers and waste limited larval control resources. Use of the STT should therefore be discontinued on Guadalcanal and other techniques such as allozyme electrophoresis used instead.