Anopheles darlingi

Range

Anopheles darlingi is one of the most important vectors of malaria in the Neotropics (Mexico, Central and South America), with populations from southern Mexico to Argentina.

Habitat

An. darlingi is a riverine mosquito, generally confined to rural, lowland forested locations. Deforestation and other human driven environmental change can create habitats which are favourable, with An. darlingi reportedly found at higher densities in areas with limited forest cover than in those predominated by forest. The larval habitats of An. darlingi can be characterized as natural water bodies such as lagoons, lakes and particularly slow flowing streams or rivers with shaded, clear water associated with submersed vegetation such as bamboo roots from overhanging spiny bamboo. Larvae are encountered most frequently in patches of floating debris along river margins. There are examples of larvae being found in uncharacteristic locations, such as in slightly brackish water; in low numbers in turbid, polluted water (brick pits); and in abandoned gold mine dugouts in southern Venezuela, further suggesting a level of adaptability to areas altered by humans. Moreover, An. darlingi appears to be adapting to higher altitude habitats with specimens recently collected at altitudes above 800m in Venezuela, close to the Brazilian border (Roraima).

Resting and feeding preferences

An. darlingi tends to rest outdoors regardless of where it has taken its blood meal. Adults will bite throughout the night and the degree of endo- and exophagy of this species varies from one place to another as does its host preference. It has been suggested that the biting pattern of An. darlingi may represent an adaptation to human behaviour, for example, the all night activity of An. darlingi in the gold mining areas of southern Venezuela may be a response to the all night activity of the miners. Furthermore, a number of studies that report exophagy in this species may be linked to sites where indoor insecticide spraying is or has recently been used for vector control.

Vectorial capacity

An. darlingi is considered to be one of the most efficient malaria vectors in the Neotropical region.

Strains, genome assemblies and gene sets