Little is known about the fitness of wild male mosquitoes, the females of which are vectors of malaria. The problem of studying male biology has been exacerbated by difficulties associated with catching them. In southern Mozambique, however, almost the entire adult population of An. funestus and An. gambiae s.l. rest inside houses. They leave in a dusk exodus, which makes them easy to collect. In 8,348 exit collections from a village from 2003 to 2009, 567,195 male An. funestus and 34,591 male An. gambiae s.l. were collected. During the study, numbers of An. funestus increased but numbers of An. gambiae s.l. declined to the point of extinction. Overall numbers of An. gambiae s.l. were positively correlated with temperature, whilst the relationship between temperature and numbers of An. funestus changed from an initially positive one in the first three years of the study to a negative one in the last three years. Marked males were recaptured up to 300 m from the release site, with most recaptures occurring within 150 m. Estimated mean daily survival of male An. funestus was 0.86 (95% C.I. 0.869–0.850). For the years 2003–2007, estimated mean daily survival of male An gambiae s.l. was 0.660 (95% C.I. 0.682–0.638). For either species, there was no relationship between mean weekly temperature and estimated daily survival. These results imply that males of An. funestus live as long as females but have a relatively short flight range. They are discussed in the light of possible release strategies of sterile or genetically modified mosquitoes.
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Vol. 36 • No. 2