Anopheles gambiae (African malaria mosquito, Mosquito, Malaria mosquito, ANOGA) | BCH-ORGA-SCBD-260392 | Organism | Biosafety Clearing-House


Organism (ORGA)

last updated: 18 May 2022
Organism information
Anopheles gambiae
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Order Diptera
Family Culicidae
Subfamily Anophelinae
Genus Anopheles
Species Anopheles gambiae
  • Anopheles gambiae (Giles, 1902)
  • Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto
  • Anopheles gambiae S
  • Anopheles gambia
  • African malaria mosquito
  • Mosquito
  • Malaria mosquito
Characteristics related to biosafety
Anopheles gambiae is reported to originate in West Africa (previously thought be eastern or central Africa). 
There are two main sub-Saharan habitats; Western African xeric savannah and coastal fringes. Anopheles gambiae prefers higher elevations (800 to 1000 m) and is less tolerant to aridity. There are two main habitats for the species complex development: aquatic and terrestrial. Eggs are laid and develop in aquatic habitats; small pools of open shallow fresh or non-polluted water, irrigation areas, or in ephemeral bodies of standing water such as hoof prints, tyre tracks, exposed to sunlight. Anopheles gambiae prefers shallow sunlit pools of standing water for laying eggs. The optimum temperature for egg laying is 27°C and egg hatching was highest from 24°C to 30°C. Adults are found in terrestrial habitats, close to and/or inside human habitations.
Members of the species complex are found throughout (tropical) sub-Saharan Africa.
Anopheles gambiae is a vector for malaria. Anopheles gambiae adults are active at night and prefer to bloodfeed on humans rather than animals.
  • Research
Additional Information
An. gambiae is a complex of biological siblings which are genetically and behaviourally distinct and vary in their importance as malaria vectors. The members of the complex are morphologically indistinguishable as adults and are identified using molecular methodologies. The Anopheles gambiae complex of sibling species comprises nine related but reproductively isolated species that are almost indistinguishable morphologically: Anopheles amharicus, Anopheles arabiensis, Anopheles bwambae, Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles coluzzii, Anopheles melas, Anopheles merus and Anopheles fontenillei. Collectively they are sometimes called Anopheles gambiae sensu lato, or An. gambiae s.l. meaning ‘in the wider sense.’ Some species in the complex (An. gambiae, An. coluzzii and An. arabiensis) are the main vectors of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Anopheles mosquitoes, being poikilotherms, have life history characteristics that are dependent on ambient temperatures. These life history characteristics include their biting rates, the duration of their gonotrophic cycles, their fecundity, the survival and development of the immature mosquitoes and the adult.