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Larval habitat segregation between the molecular forms of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae in a rice field area of Burkina Faso, West Africa

Authors

  • G. GIMONNEAU,

    Corresponding author
    1. MIVEGEC (Maladies Infectieuses et Vecteurs: Ecologie, Genetique, Evolution et Contrôle), UMR224, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Montpellier, France
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  • M. POMBI,

    1. Sezione di Parassitologia, Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e Malattie Infettive, Università di Roma ‘Sapienza’, Rome, Italy
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  • M. CHOISY,

    1. MIVEGEC (Maladies Infectieuses et Vecteurs: Ecologie, Genetique, Evolution et Contrôle), UMR224, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Montpellier, France
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  • S. MORAND,

    1. Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution de Montpellier (ISEM), UMR 5554, Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, France
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  • R. K. DABIRÉ,

    1. Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS), Direction Régionale de l’Ouest (DRO), Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
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  • F. SIMARD

    1. MIVEGEC (Maladies Infectieuses et Vecteurs: Ecologie, Genetique, Evolution et Contrôle), UMR224, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Montpellier, France
    2. Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS), Direction Régionale de l’Ouest (DRO), Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
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Geoffrey Gimonneau, Team BEES (Biology, Ecology and Evolution of Vector Systems), MIVEGEC, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UMR224, 911 Avenue Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier, France. Tel.: +33 (0) 4 67 04 32 22; Fax: +33 (0) 4 67 54 20 44; E-mail: geoffrey.gimonneau@gmail.com

Abstract

In West Africa, lineage splitting between the M and S molecular forms of the major Afro-tropical malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae), is thought to be driven by ecological divergence, occurring mainly at the larval stage. Here, we present evidence for habitat segregation between the two molecular forms in and around irrigated rice fields located within the humid savannahs of western Burkina Faso. Longitudinal sampling of adult mosquitoes emerging from a range of breeding sites distributed along a transect extending from the heart of the rice field area into the surrounding savannah was conducted from June to November 2009. Analysis revealed that the two molecular forms and their sibling species Anopheles arabiensis are not randomly distributed in the area. A major ecological gradient was extracted in relation to the perimeter of the rice fields. The M form was associated with larger breeding sites mostly consisting of rice paddies, whereas the S form and An. arabiensis were found to depend upon temporary, rain-filled breeding sites. These results support hypotheses about larval habitat segregation and confirm the suggestion that the forms have different larval habitat requirements. Segregation appears to be clearly linked to anthropogenic permanent habitats and the community structure they support.

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