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To evaluate the factors which determine the transmission level of falciparum malaria, entomological and parasitological surveys were conducted from October 1988 to February 1990 in Manarintsoa in the central highland plateaux of Madagascar. Mosquitoes were collected for 928 man-nights in pit shelters and indoor resting sites. Malaria vectors were Anopheles arabiensis and An. funestus, with no evidence of the presence of An. gambiae sensu stricto. Vectors were mainly exophilic and zoophilic. The index of stability was < 1.5. The sporozoite rate was 0.11 for An. gambiae sensu lato and 0.47 for An. funestus. The transmission level was low, with an inoculation rate of 0.91 infective bites/person/year and an infection risk of 0.62. Malaria transmission occurs 7 months of the year in this area, from November to May. Human parasite rates fluctuated from 29% in October to 53% in May.