Evidence Through Crossmating Experiments of a Species Complex in Anopheles pseudopunctipennis Sensu Lato: A Primary Malaria Vector of the American Continent

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  • Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, Center for Agricultural Biotechnology. Maryland Biotechnology Institute, University of, Laboratory of Malaria Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Secretaria de Salud y Bienestar Social del Estado de Morelos, Ministerio de Prevision y Salud Publica, Direccion Nacional de Epidemiologia, College Park, Maryland, Mexico

Crossmating experiments were conducted to determine if postmating reproductive barriers are involved in the maintenance of genetic divergence among populations of Anopheles pseudopunctipennis sensu lato, a primary malaria vector of the American continent. Reciprocal crosses were conducted between colony and wild strains from Mexico, Bolivia, and Peru. Hybridization experiments revealed unidirectional male/female hybrid sterility in crosses between Mexican females and South American males. The data presented provide the first evidence that genetic differences exist among geographic strains of An. pseudopunctipennis in neotropical America. There is a consistent pattern suggesting the presence of at least two allopatric sibling species. One species occurs in central Mexico, the other in the South American Andean Cordillera.