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West African Sahel

Quantifying flight aptitude variation in wild Anopheles gambiae in order to identify long-distance migrants

July 22, 2020 - 15:47 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Roy Faiman, Alpha S. Yaro, Tovi Lehmann, et al.
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:263, 22 July 2020

In the West African Sahel, mosquito reproduction is halted during the 5–7 month-long dry season, due to the absence of surface waters required for larval development. However, recent studies have suggested that both Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (s.s.) and Anopheles arabiensis repopulate this region via migration from distant locations where larval sites are perennial. Anopheles coluzzii engages in more regional migration, presumably within the Sahel, following shifting resources correlating with the ever-changing patterns of Sahelian rainfall. Understanding mosquito migration is key to controlling malaria—a disease that continues to claim more than 400,000 lives annually, especially those of African children. Using tethered flight data of wild mosquitoes, the distribution of flight parameters were evaluated as indicators of long-range migrants versus appetitive flyers, and the species specific seasonal differences and gonotrophic states compared between two flight activity modalities. Morphometrical differences were evaluated in the wings of mosquitoes exhibiting high flight activity (HFA) vs. low flight activity (LFA).

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