Anopheles gambiae is the predominant malaria vector species in Ghana, western Africa, with a strong local presence of Anopheles melas Theobald along the southern coast. We studied the biting behavior of these two species of the Anopheles gambiae complex inland and at the coast in Ghana, with special attention to the local peoples' preference for outdoor sleeping. We collected mosquitoes at two sites in 2007, representing the moist semideciduous forest zone and the strand and mangrove zone, and the sampling was repeated in the dry and rainy seasons. Sampled mosquitoes were examined for species, parity and size (wing length), and we identified the hosts of their bloodmeals. We interviewed 288 of the village people to determine where and when they slept outdoors. Our study confirmed that An. gambiae is the only species of the An. gambiae complex in the Ashanti region and revealed that An. melas is highly dominant on the western coast of Ghana. Both species showed high human blood rates in indoor resting mosquito samples. More people sleep outside on the coast than inland. An. melas demonstrated high exophily. An. gambiae bit people more frequently indoors and did so more often during the dry season than in the rainy season. We suggest that the degree of exophily in An. melas may be affected by humidity and the availability of human as well as by the mosquitoes' innate habits.
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Vol. 47 • No. 1