Larval development of the molecular forms of Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) in different habitats: a transplantation experiment

J Med Entomol. 2005 Jul;42(4):548-53. doi: 10.1093/jmedent/42.4.548.


We compared the development of the molecular forms of Anopheles gambiae s.s. in different larval habitats. First stage larvae (L1s) of wild-caught females were placed into cages in natural habitats of the M form (rice fields) or the S form (puddles/ quarries). Each cage was covered with cloth, allowing exchange of water, solutes, and small particles, including microorganisms, and was seeded with 100 L1s of a single form (M or S) or by a mixture of 50:50 of M and S forms. Emergence success of both forms in puddles and quarries was three-fold higher than in the rice fields. The emergence rate of the S form was higher than that of the M form in both habitats, but the form x habitat interaction was not significant. In temporary larval sites such as puddles, emergence success of the M form was lower in mixed cages than in single form cages, whereas the reverse was true for the S form, suggesting competition between the forms. The median developmental time was not significantly different between forms. Although these findings demonstrate differences between forms, they do not suggest that their spatial segregation is determined by differences in their exploitation of the physical and chemical conditions in these environments. These results should be regarded with caution because small numbers of first stage larvae could pass through the cloth of the cages.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles / growth & development*
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Larva / growth & development*