Smallest Anopheles farauti occur during the peak transmission season in the Solomon Islands

McLaughlin, Kimberley, Russell, Tanya L., Apairamo, Allan, Bugoro, Hugo, Oscar, Jance, Cooper, Robert D., Beebe, Nigel W., Ritchie, Scott A., and Burkot, Thomas R. (2019) Smallest Anopheles farauti occur during the peak transmission season in the Solomon Islands. Malaria Journal, 18. 208.

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Background: 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.

Methods: Adult anophelines were sampled from six villages in Western and Central Provinces, Solomon Islands between March 2014 and February 2017. The size of females was estimated by measuring wing lengths, and then analysed for associations with biting densities and rainfall.

Results: In the Solomon Islands, three anopheline species, An. farauti, Anopheles hinesorum and Anopheles lungae, differed in size. The primary malaria vector, An. farauti, varied significantly in size among villages. Greater rainfall was directly associated with higher densities of An. farauti biting rates, but inversely associated with body size with the smallest mean sized mosquitoes present during the peak transmission period. A measurable association between body size and survivorship was not found.

Conclusions: Density dependent effects are likely impacting the size of adult An. farauti emerging from a range of larval habitats. The data suggest that rainfall increases An. farauti numbers and that these more abundant mosquitoes are significantly smaller in size, but without any reduced survivorship being associated with smaller size. The higher malaria transmission rate in a high malaria focus village appears to be determined more by vector numbers than size or survivorship of the vectors.

Item ID: 58814
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1475-2875
Keywords: Anopheles farauti; Anopheles hinesorum; Anopheles lungae; Density-dependence; Wing length; Size variation; Solomon Island
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Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Funders: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: BMGF Grant No. 45114, NIAID subaward U19AI08986, JCU Postgraduate Research Scholarship
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Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2019 03:15
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310307 Population ecology @ 60%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310913 Invertebrate biology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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