Volume 81, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


To test for the effects of host accessibility on blood-feeding behavior, we assessed degrees of anthropophily of the malaria mosquito at two stages of the behavioral sequence of host foraging, in a rice growing area near Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, where humans are not readily accessible because of years of generalized use of (mostly non-impregnated) bed nets. First, patterns of host selection were assessed by the identification of the blood meal origin of indoor-resting samples. Inherent host preferences were then determined by two odor-baited entry traps, set side by side in a choice arrangement, releasing either human or calf odor. The proportion of feeds taken on humans was around 40%, whereas 88% of trapped “chose” the human-baited trap, indicating a zoophilic pattern of host selection despite a stronger trap entry response with human odor. This paradox can be interpreted as the evolution of a plastic strategy of feeding behavior in this field population of because of the greater accessibility of readily available, although less-preferred, hosts.


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  • Received : 11 Mar 2009
  • Accepted : 18 Jul 2009

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