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Anopheles culicifacies breeding in polluted water bodies in Trincomalee District of Sri Lanka

Nayana Gunathilaka1, Thilan Fernando1, Menaka Hapugoda1, Rajitha Wickremasinghe3, Panduka Wijeyerathne4 and Wimaladharma Abeyewickreme2*

Author Affiliations

1 Molecular Medicine Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama 11010, Sri Lanka

2 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, PO Box 6, Road, Ragama 11010, Sri Lanka

3 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama 11010, Sri Lanka

4 Tropical Environmental Diseases & Health Associates, No 3 Elibank Rd, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka

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Malaria Journal 2013, 12:285  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-12-285

Published: 19 August 2013



Anopheles culicifacies, the major vector of malaria in Sri Lanka, is known to breed in clean and clear water. The main objective of the study was to detect the breeding habitat diversity of An. culicifacies.


Potential larval habitats for Anopheles mosquitoes were surveyed on a monthly basis for 17 months (January 2011–June 2012) in four different selected sampling sites (Murthankulam, Kommnaimottai, Paranamadawachchiya and Kokmotawewa) in Trincomalee District of Sri Lanka.


A total of 2,996 larval specimens representing 13 Anopheles species were reported from 16 different breeding habitats. According to density criterion, An. culicifacies, Anopheles subpictus, Anopheles barbirostris, Anopheles peditaeniatus and Anopheles nigerrimus were dominant. Anopheles nigerrimus, An. subpictus and An. peditaeniatus were observed as constant in relation to their distribution. The most productive breeding site for An. culicifacies was drains filled with waste water in remote areas; the second highest productivity was found in built wells.


These results indicate that An. culicifacies has adapted to breed in a wide range of water bodies including waste water collections although they were earlier considered to breed only in clean and clear water.

Anopheles; Malaria; Waste water