Bionomics of the malaria vector Anopheles farauti in Temotu Province, Solomon Islands: issues for malaria elimination

Bugoro, Hugo, Cooper, Robert D., Butafa, Charles, Iro'ofa, Charlie, Mackenzie, Donna O., Chen, Cheng-Chen, and Russell, Tanya L. (2011) Bionomics of the malaria vector Anopheles farauti in Temotu Province, Solomon Islands: issues for malaria elimination. Malaria Journal, 10 (1). 133. pp. 1-11.

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Background: In the Solomon Islands, the Malaria Eradication Programmes of the 1970s virtually eliminated the malaria vectors: Anopheles punctulatus and Anopheles koliensis, both late night biting, endophagic species. However, the vector, Anopheles farauti, changed its behaviour to bite early in the evening outdoors. Thus, An. farauti mosquitoes were able to avoid insecticide exposure and still maintain transmission. Thirty years on and the Solomon Islands are planning for intensified malaria control and localized elimination; but little is currently known about the behaviour of the vectors and how they will respond to intensified control.

Methods: In the elimination area, Temotu Province, standard entomological collection methods were conducted in typical coastal villages to determine the vector, its ecology, biting density, behaviour, longevity, and vector efficacy. These vector surveys were conducted pre-intervention and post-intervention following indoor residual spraying and distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets.

Results: Anopheles farauti was the only anopheline in Temotu Province. In 2008 (pre-intervention), this species occurred in moderate to high densities (19.5-78.5 bites/person/night) and expressed a tendency to bite outdoors, early in the night (peak biting time 6-8 pm). Surveys post intervention showed that there was little, if any, reduction in biting densities and no reduction in the longevity of the vector population. After adjusting for human behaviour, indoor biting was reduced from 57% pre-intervention to 40% post-intervention.

Conclusion: In an effort to learn from historical mistakes and develop successful elimination programmes, there is a need for implementing complimentary vector control tools that can target exophagic and early biting vectors. Intensified indoor residual spraying and long-lasting insecticide net use has further promoted the early, outdoor feeding behaviour of An. farauti in the Solomon Islands. Consequently, the effectiveness of IRS and the personal protection provided by bed nets is compromised. To achieve elimination, any residual transmission should be targeted using integrated vector control incorporating complementary tools such as larviciding and/or zooprophylaxis.

Item ID: 30916
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1475-2875
Additional Information:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: AusAID
Projects and Grants: AusAID grant for the Pacific Malaria Initiative (PacMISC)
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Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2014 03:24
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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