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J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2001 Jun;17(2):98-113.

Evidence for a new sibling species of Anopheles minimus from the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan.

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Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.


The Anopheles minimus complex is known to comprise at least 2 sibling species (A and C) in Thailand and Vietnam. This study investigated the specific status of An. minimus on Ishigaki Island, the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan using morphological and genetic analyses. Morphological studies revealed that almost all (99.5%) of the adult mosquitoes are characterized by the humeral pale spot on the costa of their wings, a character that partially differentiates species A and C elsewhere. A high frequency (81.4%) have a pale fringe spot at the tip of vein 1A, a character rarely observed in other An. minimus populations. Significant seasonal variation in the size of wild An. minimus mosquitoes on the island was observed, with the largest size in the winter. Scanning micrographs of the cibarial armature of females from Ishigaki Island revealed that over 90% had cone filaments clearly differing in shape from those of species A or C. The Giemsa-stained metaphase karyotypes of larval brain cells were somewhat similar to those of species A, with a few exceptions, but were very different from those reported for species C. Crossing experiments between species A (CM strain) from Thailand and the progeny of An. minimus from Ishigaki Island (ISG strain) revealed postzygotic genetic incompatibility, although no prezygotic isolation. Hybrid progeny were only obtained from CM female x ISG male. F2 hybrid progeny were not obtained, since the hybrid males were sterile or almost sterile with atrophied testes or abnormal spermatozoa, although the polytene chromosomes of hybrid larvae showed synapsis. The hybrid females backcrossed with either CM or ISG males laid eggs with significantly lowered fertility and viability. The sequence for the D3 region of the 28S gene of ribosomal DNA of the ISG strain differed from those of species A and C. In addition, sequence data from Vietnamese mosquitoes suggest that the An. minimus complex may contain additional species. The morphological, cytogenetic, molecular, and hybridization evidence together suggest the existence of another sibling species of the An. minimus complex on Ishigaki Island, which is provisionally designated An. minimus species E.

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