Annual Review of Entomology (2015) 60, 335-350
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Anopheles punctulatus group: Evolution, distribution, and control
Annual Review of Entomology 60, 335-350
Abstract: The major malaria vectors of the Southwest Pacific belong to a group of closely related mosquitoes known as the Anopheles punctulatus group. The group comprises 13 co-occurring species that either are isomorphic or carry overlapping morphological features, and today several species remain informally named. The advent of species-diagnostic molecular tools in the 1990s permitted a new raft of studies into the newly differentiated mosquitoes of this group, and these have revealed five species as the region's primary malaria vectors: An. farauti, An. hinesorum, An. farauti 4, An. koliensis, and An. punctulatus. Species' distributions are now well established across Papua New Guinea, northern Australia, and the Solomon Archipelago, but little has been documented thus far in eastern Indonesia. As each species reveals significant differences in distribution and biology, the relative paucity of knowledge of their biology or ecology in relation to malaria transmission is brought into clearer focus. Only three of the species have undergone some form of spatial or population genetics analyses, and this has revealed striking differences in their genetic signatures throughout the region. This review compiles and dissects the key findings for this important mosquito group and points to where future research should focus to maximize the output of field studies in developing relevant knowledge on these malaria vectors.
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