Identification of two species within the Anopheles minimus complex in northern Vietnam and their behavioural divergences

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Elucidating the complex taxonomic status of the major malaria vector taxa and characterising the individual species within each complex is important for understanding the complexity of the vector system in the south-east Asian region and will allow to estimate the impact of vector control measures. This applies to countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam that spend about 60% of their malaria control budget on implementing vector control activities. We used isozyme electrophoresis to clarify the Anopheles minimus s.l. species composition in northern Vietnam and identify behavioural divergences of individual species. Using different collection methods, adult mosquitoes were caught at monthly intervals from June to November 1995 in four villages. An. minimus s.l. could be distinguished from closely related species, An. aconitus and An. jeyporiensis, at the Octanol dehydrogenase (Odh) enzyme locus. Significant positive Fis values gave clear evidence of nonrandom mating within the An. minimus s.l. population. The highest heterozygote deficiency was observed at locus Odh, which was diagnostic for 2 sympatric An. minimus species in Vietnam similar to the An. minimus A and C species known from Thailand. We found no evidence for restricted gene flow between monthly samples, villages, or collection methods in either of the two An. minimus species. They occurred in sympatry, but in different proportions depending on the collection site, and had dissimilar resting and biting behaviours. Thus a vector control strategy will have a nonuniform effect on the various components of this diverse vector system.

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