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Host feeding preferences of Anopheles species collected by manual aspiration, mechanical aspiration, and from a vehicle-mounted trap in the Toledo District, Belize, Central America



Host feeding preferences of Anopheles species collected by manual aspiration, mechanical aspiration, and from a vehicle-mounted trap in the Toledo District, Belize, Central America



Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 18(4): 307-315



The host-feeding patterns of Anopheles albimanus, Anopheles vestitipennis, and Anopheles punctimacula from the Toledo District in southern Belize were studied with blood-fed females that were collected by manual aspiration, a backpack aspirator, and a vehicle-mounted trap for sampling in-flight mosquito populations. Female An. vestitipennis collected from both inside and outside house walls by manual aspiration tested positive for human blood meals (88 and 67%, respectively). At increasing distances from the houses, specimens of An. vestitipennis collected from vegetation with the backpack aspirator were equally positive for human and cattle blood (44 and 43%, respectively). In contrast, 68% of the An. albimanus specimens (148) collected by backpack aspiration tested positive for cattle blood. Engorged An. vestitipennis from vehicle-mounted trap collections tested positive for cattle (108) and human (52) blood. Almost all specimens of An. albimanus from these collections were positive for cow (95%). After analyzing the data from the An. vestitipennis samples using the feeding index, the ratio of human blood to all other bloodmeal sources showed indices greater than 1. Both An. albimanus and An. punctimacula fed mostly on cattle and rarely fed on humans. Foraging ratios for the 3 Anopheles species were very similar to the feeding indexes. Ratios based on data from all collection methods showed that An. vestitipennis feeds predominately on humans. The foraging ratios for An. albimanus demonstrated consistent preferences for nonhuman hosts. As with previous studies. An. albimanus seemed to prefer cattle and pigs to almost all other host species.

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Accession: 046274815

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PMID: 12542188


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