In field studies, Anopheles gambiae Giles sensu stricto obtains most blood meals from humans, whereas Anopheles quadriannulatus Theobald bites predominantly bovids. We investigated whether host odors modulate the host preference of these mosquito species. In a dual-choice olfactometer, mosquitoes were given a choice between clean air and putative host-specific odor blends. An. gambiae chose ‘human odor’ over clean air and clean air over ‘cow odor.’ Although Anopheles quadriannulatus did not choose cow odor over clean air, it chose clean air over human odor. Cheese odor, which attracted An. gambiae, did not result in higher trap catch of An. quadriannulatus. We conclude that the degree of anthropophagy of An. gambiae s.l. has an innate olfactory basis.
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Vol. 38 • No. 6