Colony of Anopheles darlingi

The Department of Entomology in collaboration with the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP), achieved the establishment of a colony of Anopheles darlingi, dominant vector of malaria in the New World, in insectary conditions via natural copulation induced by manipulation of the environmental conditions. An insectary-adapted colony of this species will lead to continued studies on the various aspects of the bionomy, behavior and interation with Plasmodium spp. and this species. Adult An. darlingi females collected in Zungarococha, Loreto, Peru were used to obtain the first generation reared inside an insectary to adult stage. Adults were then subject to experimentation to stimulate sexual behaviour among males and females through the application of thermal-period and light on one side of the cage at crepuscule time for 30 minutes.

An. darlingi adults responded to this sexual stimulation and natural copulation was observed during the five-day induction at an average of 53% insemination rate. This has allowed us to maintain colonies of An. darlingi, for 10 generations over a period of 9 months, yielding an average of 7,874 adults per generation. This is the first report of massive rearing of a stable colony of An. darlingi through natural copulation.