Population and cytogenetic observations on Anopheles arabiensis Patton of Mwea Irrigation Scheme, Kenya
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A study of the mosquito fauna of the Mwea Rice Irrigation Scheme, Kenya, carried out during 1984 and 1985 identified 13 species, with Anopheles gambiae s. l. comprising 65.71% of the total collection. X-chromosome identification of 652 semi-gravid females resulted in 649 (99.5 %) positive identifications of An. arabiensis, implicating it as the noxious member of the An. gambiae complex present. Inversion polymorphism of chromosomes 2Rb and 3Ra karyotypes was studied in one village population. Seasonal population changes were found to be heavily dependent on rice field surface water. Artificial irrigation for rice farming greatly extended the breeding period per year by linking up the two wet seasons. Adult females fed more frequently on bovids than humans. The mean percentage gonotrophic condition of all females caught in the villagesof Karima, Thiba, Mucii-wa-Urata and Rurumi by pyrethrum spray-sheet collections, miniature light-traps and exit window traps was 69 % bloodfed, 18 % unfed and 13 % gravid. These proportions were statistically shown to be within predictable limits over time and space. The sporozoite infection rate in adult females was 0.55% by manual dissections and 1.2% by the ELISA technique.