, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 80–84

Selection of biting sites on man by two malaria mosquito species

  • R. De Jong
  • B. G. J. Knols

DOI: 10.1007/BF01964925

Cite this article as:
De Jong, R. & Knols, B.G.J. Experientia (1995) 51: 80. doi:10.1007/BF01964925


While searching for blood, female mosquitoes pass through a behavioural process involving responses to visual, physical and chemical properties of the host. Temperature and humidity are thought to dominate mosquito orientation near the host. We observed that biting of two malaria mosquito species, i.e.Anopheles atroparvus (van Thiel) andAnopheles gambiae s.s. (Giles) preferentially occurs on different body regions of a naked motionless human host. Their preference for the head and foot regions respectively correlated with particular combinations of skin temperature and eccrine sweat gland density. Subsequent modification of the host's odour profile by removing exhaled breath and washing feet results in significant changes of these preferences.

Key words

Host-seeking Anopheles gambiae Anopheles atroparvus chemotaxis behaviour 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. De Jong
    • 1
  • B. G. J. Knols
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyWageningen Agricultural UniversityWageningen(The Netherlands)

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