Anopheline mosquito survival strategies during the dry period in western Kenya

Noboru Minakawa, John I. Githure, John C. Beier, Guiyun Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The dry season survival mechanism of Anopheles gambiae Giles is one of the most vexing deficiencies in our understanding of the biology of the major malaria vectors. In this study, we examined the dynamics of anopheline adult mosquitoes, their larval habitats, and egg survival potential during the dry season in the basin region of Lake Victoria, western Kenya. Through field surveys, we demonstrated two survival strategies of An. gambiae sensu stricto during the dry season: continuous reproduction throughout the year and embryo dormancy in moist soil for at least several days. We further demonstrated that An. gambiae shows a strong preference for moist soil as an oviposition substrate rather than dry soil substrate under the insectary conditions. The observation that anopheline eggs remain a dormant stage to resist desiccation clearly contrasts the conventional wisdom that anopheline eggs hatch shortly after they are laid. Our results from western Kenya are consistent with the suggestion that anopheline mosquitoes do not necessarily suffer a severe population bottleneck during the dry season and thus maintain a large effective population size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-392
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Anopheles gambiae
  • Dry-season survival strategy
  • Larval ecology
  • Population dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Anopheline mosquito survival strategies during the dry period in western Kenya'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this