Misidentification of a Philippine Malaria Vector Revealed by Allozyme and Ribosomal DNA Markers

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  • Tropical Health Program and the Department of Entomology, University of Queensland, Tropical Health Program, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Morphologically identified Anopheles flavirostris (Diptera: Culicidae), the principal malaria vector in the Philippines, comprised two species in collections from the Bataan Province of Luzon based on allozyme and internal transcribed spacer 2 ribosomal DNA analysis. Seven percent of morphologically identified specimens were the closely related nonvector An. filipinae. Morphologic variability of An. filipinae may account for some of these misidentifications. Genetic identification tools promise to be useful not only for verifying the identification of morphologically defined taxa but also for detecting the presence of morphologically indistinguishable sibling species in the Philippines.

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