The present study utilized an experimental hut to conduct human-baited landing collections for characterizing the all-night biting patterns and seasonal densities of adult Anopheles darlingi in the centrally located Cayo District of Belize, Central America. A total of 25 all-night collections (i.e., sunset to sunrise) were conducted from January 2002 to May 2003, capturing a total of 18,878 An. darlingi females. Anopheles darlingi exhibited a bimodal nightly biting pattern with one predominate peak occurring three h after sunset and a smaller peak occurring one h prior to sunrise. Biting females were collected throughout the night in higher densities indoors (9,611) than outside (9,267) the experimental hut (O:I=1.00:1.04). Seasonal adult collections show An. darlingi densities were highest during the transitional months between the end of the wet and beginning of the dry season (January) and the end of the dry season and beginning of the wet season (May). A total of 2,010 An. darlingi females was captured in 31 two-h, human-baited landing collections performed from January to October 2002. Anopheles darlingi monthly population densities were found to have no significant associations with high or low temperatures, precipitation, or river level. However, qualitative data examination indicates an inverse relationship between river level and An. darlingi adult collections suggesting a disturbance of larval habitats. All-night biting and seasonal distribution patterns for other anopheline species are also described. None of the adult specimens collected throughout the entire study tested positive for Plasmodium spp. infection using the VecTest™ rapid diagnostic kit.
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