The ecology, over-wintering and population dynamics of the pre-imaginal stages of the Anopheles gambiae Giles complex (Diptera : culicidae) in northern Natal, South Africa.
This study investigated aspects of the breeding biology, ecophysiology, morphology, over-wintering and population dynamics of the pre-imaginal stages of members of the Anopheles gambiae complex in northern Natal, South Africa, Investigation of the breeding biology, concentrated on breeding site utilisation by the different members of the Anopheles gambiae complex. Surveillance personnel were unable to locate the breeding sites of Anopheles arabiensis and postulated that location and description of these would offer a unique opportunity for control. The difficulty in locating the breeding sites of An. arabiensis at certain localities was found to be a product of their low density, presumably as a result of the intra-domiciliary, residual insecticide spray programme. The effect of temperature on larval physiology and adult morphology was investigated. terms of their implications Anopheles gambiae complex. The findings are discussed in for anopheline taxonomy and the The effect of temperature on larval growth rates was investigated in both the field and laboratory. The finding of this part of the study indicate that the larval stages play an important role in the over-wintering of populations within the region. The control implications of these findings and winter breeding site localisation are discussed. A theory for the so called 'late season transmission i.e. Apri-May, within the province and southern Africa is proposed. The population dynamics of An. merus were investigated, together with the effect of abiotic factors such as temperature, salinity and rainfall. The effect of sampling bias due to factors such as behavioural avoidance were studied.