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Bull World Health Organ. 1964; 31(5): 625–634.
PMCID: PMC2555133

Anopheles gambiae, a complex of species


The author reports on some 200 laboratory crossings of 36 strains of Anopheles gambiae from many different parts of Africa which show the existence of five mating-types in what was until recently considered a single species. Three of these mating-types are freshwater forms and have been provisionally called A, B and C. Two are saltwater forms: A. melas, confined to West Africa, and the East African A. merus. Hybrid male sterility is universal when any two of these five forms are crossed, and from some of the crosses grossly abnormal sex-ratios result. From an evolutionary standpoint these five mating-types are probably species or semi-species in view of the fact that they can be found to co-exist sympatrically and still retain their identities. From a practical point of view it may be necessary for the field worker to be able to identify the exact species with which he is dealing before the most efficient means of controlling it can be found.

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Selected References

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  • BURGESS RW. Preliminary experiments on the hybridization of Anopheles gambiae Giles and Anopheles melas Theobald. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1962 Sep;11:702–704. [PubMed]
  • BURNSIDE RM, MILLS CK, QUINN LH, DAVIDSON GA. Ten-year cure of retinoblastoma. A case report. Am J Ophthalmol. 1962 Jun;53:1010–1012. [PubMed]
  • DAVIDSON G, JACKSON CE. Incipient speciation in Anopheles gambiae Giles. Bull World Health Organ. 1962;27:303–305. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • MUIRHEAD-THOMSON RC. The significance of irritability, behaviouristic avoidance and allied phenomena in malaria eradication. Bull World Health Organ. 1960;22:721–734. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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