Sydney University Department of Medical Entomology Westmead Hospital
Anopheles annulipes
Anopheles annulipes

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Characteristic Features

Female: A medium sized mosquito of dark and speckly grey appearance; proboscis generally dark above and often with variable pale area below on apical half (in northern Australia the apical half of the proboscis may be all pale), palps as long as proboscis and palps with broad white apical bands on terminal three segments; scutum a greyish colour with scattering of broad white scales, sides of thorax with some darker coloured areas but only a few pale scales; wings with all veins having patches of dark and pale scales; hind legs with femur, tibia and first tarsus spotted and banded with pale scales, tarsi 2-4 with apical pale band and tarsus 5 is usually all dark; abdominal tergites and sternites hairy but with no scales except for some pale scattered on terminal few segments.


Similar Species

Adult females could be confused with An. amictus but it is distinguished from that and similar species (An. hilli, An. meraukensis) from northern Australia because it has no extensive scaling on the abdomen; in northern Australia there are also other Anopheles (e.g. An. farauti) that would need to be recognised.

An. annulipes is a species complex and throughout Australia includes a number of closely similar species, possibly at least 3 in southeastern Australia. Until morphological revisions are complete it is not possible to reliably differentiate most of these species on appearance and they are generally referred to as An. annulipes sensu lato (s.l.), meaning An. annulipes in the broad sense.


Geographic Distribution

NSW (throughout), Vic (throughout), SA (widespread), Tas (lowland areas), (also Qld, NT, WA).


Habits & Habitats

Feed from humans and other animals (particularly cattle), and bite predominantly at night.


Vector & Pest Status

The species is only rarely a pest even when relatively abundant as it does not preferentially attack humans; it is known to be a laboratory vector of malaria and almost certainly has been responsible for transmission of malaria in many areas of southern Australia, can carry human filaria and dog heartworm (but is not an efficient vector), has yielded isolates of Ross River virus from the Murray valley and other viruses of lesser importance from various areas, but overall is not thought to be an important vector of human disease.

modified from: Russell, R.C. (1996). A colour photo atlas of mosquitoes of
Southeastern Australia
. Medical Entomology, Westmead Hospital.

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