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Keywords:

  • Anopheles gambiae;
  • males;
  • sugar-feeding;
  • flowering plants;
  • olfactometer;
  • Burkina Faso

ABSTRACT:

Sugar feeding by male mosquitoes is critical for their success in mating competition. However, the facets of sugar source finding under natural conditions remain unknown. Here, evidence obtained in Western Burkina Faso indicated that the distribution of An. gambiae s.s. (M and S molecular forms) males across different peri-domestic habitats is dependent on the availability of potential sugar sources from which they obtain more favorable sites for feeding or resting. Among field-collected anophelines, a higher proportion of specimens containing fructose were found on flowering Mangifera indica (Anacardiaceae), Dolonix regia (Fabaceae), Thevetia neriifolia (Apocynaceae), Senna siamea, and Cassia sieberiana (both Fabaceae) compared to that recorded on other nearby plants, suggesting that some plants are favored for use as a sugar source over others. Y-tube olfactometer assays with newly-emerged An. gambiae s.s. exposed to odors from individual plants and some combinations thereof showed that males use odor cues to guide their preference. The number of sugar-positive males was variable in a no-choice cage assay, consistent with the olfactory response patterns towards corresponding odor stimuli. These experiments provide the first evidence both in field and laboratory conditions for previously unstudied interactions between males of An. gambiae and natural sugar sources.