Malaria Home > Anopheles

Female Anopheles are the only species of mosquitoes known to spread malaria. There are about 430 species, 30 to 40 of which are able to transmit the parasite responsible for malaria. The male mosquitoes live for about a week; the females can survive up to a month, but most usually do not live longer than one to two weeks.

What Is Anopheles?

Anopheles is the only species of mosquito known to transmit malaria. They are found worldwide except in Antarctica.
There are about 430 Anopheles species, of which 30 to 40 are able to transmit malaria. Transmission occurs by different species, depending on the region and the environment. However, only female mosquitoes can transmit malaria.

The Anopheles Life Cycle

Like all mosquitoes, the Anopheles species goes through four stages in its life cycle:
  • Egg
  • Larva
  • Pupa
  • Adult.
The first three stages occur in water, and last 5 to 14 days, depending on the species and the air temperature. In tropical conditions, the first three stages tend to be longer, usually 10 to 14 days.
The adult female Anopheles mosquito can live up to a month, but typically does not live more than one to two weeks. The adult stage is when the female mosquito acts as malaria vector (transmitter).
Adult Anopheles females lay about 50 to 200 eggs. Eggs are laid directly on water and are unique in having floats on either side. These eggs are not resistant to drying and hatch within two to three days, although hatching may take up to two to three weeks in colder climates.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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