In the Solomon Island, the dominant malaria vector, Anopheles farauti, is highly anthropophagic and increasingly exophilic and early biting. While long-lasting insecticide-treated nets remain effective against An. farauti, supplemental vector control strategies will be needed to achieve malaria elimination. Presently, the only World Health Organization recommended supplemental vector control strategy is larval source management (LSM). Effective targeted larval source management requires understanding the associations between abiotic, chemical and biological parameters of larval habitats with the presence or density of vector larvae.
Malaria transmission varies in intensity amongst Solomon Island villages where Anopheles farauti is the only vector. This variation in transmission intensity might be explained by density-dependent processes during An. farauti larval development, as density dependence can impact adult size with associated fitness costs and daily survivorship.
The TSI model developed here provides useful predictions of likely malaria transmission larval sources based on the environmental preferences of the mosquito, An. farauti.
The only documented major malaria vector collected in larval surveys in both Central and Western Provinces was An. farauti.
One of the strongest drivers for host species preference was the relative abundance of the different host species.
The short duration of the feeding cycle by this species offers an explanation for the substantial control of malaria that has been achieved in the Solomon Islands by LLINs and IRS.
The finding that An. farauti is a homogeneous population is significant, because during the multiple feeding cycles required to complete the extrinsic incubation period, many individual female anophelines will enter houses late at night and be exposed to the insecticides used in LLINs or IRS.