Mosquito collections were made throughout the mainland of Papua New Guinea to identify the members of the Anopheles punctulatus group present and to determine their distribution. Identification was made using morphology, DNA hybridization, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-RFLP analysis. Nine members of the group were identified: An. farauti s.s. Laveran, An. farauti 2, An. koliensis Owen, and An. punctulatus Dönitz, were common and widespread; An. farauti 4 was restricted to the north of the central ranges where it was common; An. farauti 6 was found only in the highlands above 1,000 m; and An. farauti 3, An. sp. near punctulatus and An. clowi Rozeboom & Knight were uncommon and had restricted distributions. Identification of An. koliensis and An. punctulatus using proboscis morphology was found to be unreliable wherever An. farauti 4 occurred. The distribution and dispersal of the members of the An. punctulatus group is discussed in regard to climate, larval habitats, distance from the coast, elevation, and proximity to human habitation.
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Vol. 39 • No. 1