Anopheles subpictus Grassi, 1899




Etymology: nearly (L); near (smaller than) pictus

Anopheles subpictus are recognized by the broad pale bands on their front tibia and lack of speckles on their femora and tibiae. In addition, the preapical dark band of the palps are at least half as wide as the apical pale band. The taxonomic status of An. subpictus is historically complex. Three previously determined subspecies were reported until detailed morphological studies confirmed two speciesAn. subpictus and An. indefinitus (Ludlow) and sunk An. subpictus malayensis Hacker as a junior synonym of An. indefinitus. Anopheles subpictus s.s. has two valid synonymsrossi Giles and error Theobald. Four additional biological and chromosomal formsAn. subpictus A, B, C, and D— have also been reported.

Type locality: India

Type depository: Universita Degli Studi, Rome, Italy (RUM)

DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS  (Click photos to view; mouse over and click large photo to zoom in.)

ADULT (illustrated): Head: Palpus with three pale bands, apical pale band about 2x length of preapical dark band, and subapical pale band narrow, ≤0.33 length of preapical dark band. Thorax: Antepronotal scales absent; Upper proepisternal setae present. Legs: Some articulations of Ta comprising both apical and basal pale bands; legs not speckled. Abdomen: Segments VII and Vlll and cercus with at least a few scales.

LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Setae 2,3-C single; seta 4-C inserted well posterior of seta 2-C, bases widely separated. Thorax: Seta 1-P usually with 12 or fewer branches; setae 1,2-P with bases not heavily sclerotized; seta 4-M usually 1–2 branched. Abdominal segments: Seta 1-I reduced palmate, most often with 6 or fewer smooth lanceolate leaflets; segments IV–VII with small tergal plates not encompassing small accessory plates.



Nguyen Thuong Hien 1968

Reid 1968

Lee et al. 1987b

Darsie & Pradhan 1990

Rattanarithikul et al. 2006b



adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Anophleles - Pyretophorus Series - Indomalayan Region - Adult

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WRBU - Anophleles - Pyretophorus Series - Indomalayan Region - Larva

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WRBU – Anopheles - Pyretophorus Series - Oriental Region - Adult

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WRBU - Anophleles - Pyretophorus Series - Oriental Region - Larva


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WRBU - Genera - Global - Adult

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WRBU - Genera - Global - Larva

 adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Genera - Australasia - Adult

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WRBU - Genera - Australasia - Larva

 adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Genera - Eastern Palearctic - Adult

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WRBU - Genera - Eastern Palearctic - Larva

 adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Genera - Indomalaya - Adult

larval key icon

WRBU - Genera - Indomalaya - Larva

 adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Genera - Oriental - Adult

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WRBU - Genera - Oriental - Larva

WRBU - Anopheles Subgenera and Series - Australasia - Adult

 adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Anopheles Subgenera and Series - Indomalaya - Adult

larval key icon

WRBU - Anopheles Subgenera and Series - Indomalaya - Larva

 adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Anopheles Subgenera and Series - Oriental - Adult

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WRBU - Anopheles Subgenera and Series - Oriental - Larva

Exemplar DNA sequences

An. subpictus  COI: KF406709-747

An. subpictus s.l. NPK-2007 COI: EU143303-08




Immatures of An. subpictus s.l. are found in fresh and brackish waters, whereas An. indefinitus occupy only freshwater habitats. Anopheles subpictus B has been collected in brackish water coastal localities including lagoons and salt marshes, where the salinity ranges from 0.56 to 5.36%. Anopheles subpictus A, C and D are typically found in inland fresh water sites, including rice fields, muddy river pools, animal wallows, and artificial containers. Although forms A, C ,and D, do show some tolerance to brackish water, they are never found there in high numbers.


Anopheles subpictus B are highly anthrophophilic and will enter houses to feed. It is the only species thought to be involved in malaria transmission. Plasmodium-positive wild populations of An. subpictus B are reported from southeast India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia. In Sulawesi, An. subpictus s.l. is regarded as the primary malaria vector. The remaining An. subpictus s.l. taxa are typically reported as predominantly zoophilic and exophagic, biting from dusk and throughout the night.



Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mariana Islands, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, People's Republic of China, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor, Vietnam.

Distribution map for <em>Anopheles subpictus</em> Grassi, 1899



VHR: Indonesia

View other WRBU Vector Hazard Reports

Available GIS Models:

An_subpictus_s.l._Foley_1 Asia



IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Grassi 1899: 101 (A). In: Grassi et al. 1899

Davis 1926: (F*; as rossi Giles)

Christophers & Barraud 1931: 175 (E*)

Christophers 1933: 231 (M*, F*, P, L*, E)

Ross & Roberts 1943b: 21 (M*, F*, L*; taxonomy, distribution, bionomics)

Penn 1949b: 15 (P*)

Bonne-Wepster & Swellengrebel 1953: 415 (M*, F*, L*)

Hara 1959: 111 (F*)

Reid 1966 (taxonomy)

Nguyen Thuong Hien 1968 (F*, L*; keys, taxonomy, bionomics, Vietnam)

Reid 1968 (M*, F*, P*, L*; keys, taxonomy, bionomics)

Aslamkhan 1971b (distribution; Pakistan)

Basio 1971b: 45 (M*, F*; bionomics)

Darsie & Cagampang-Ramos 1971b: 28 (distribution)

Narang et al. 1973 (chromosomes)

Ameen & Talukdar 1974c: 89 (P*)

Harrison & Klein 1975: 11 (distribution)

Suguna 1982 (taxonomy; sensu lato)

Reuben & Suguna 1983 (taxonomy; sensu lato)

Lee et al. 1987b: 288 (F key, taxonomy, review)

Darsie & Pradhan 1990 (F, L; taxonomy, keys, bionomics, distribution; Nepal)

Suguna et al. 1994 (taxonomy, chromosomes; sensu lato)

Whelan & Hapgood 2000 (bionomics, distribution; East Timor)

Oo et al. 2004 (distribution; Myanmar)

Singh et al. 2004 (taxonomy; sensu lato)

Chaudhry et al. 2005 (cytogenetics taxonomy; sensu lato)

Rattanarithikul et al. 2006b (F*, L*; bionomics, distribution, keys)

Chandra et al. 2010 (taxonomy; sensu lato)

Sinka et al. 2011: 89 (bionomics review, distribution, niche model; Subpictus Complex)

Chhilar & Chaudhry 2012 (molecular taxonomy; sensu lato)

Surendran et al. 2013 (molecular taxonomy; sensu lato)

Kyalo et al. 2017 (distribution; sub-Saharan Africa)

Namgay et al. 2018 (distribution, bionomics; Bhutan)



syn. rossii Giles

1899: 63 (M, F). Type locality: Calcutta [West Bengal], India (NHMUK).

syn. error Theobald

1903a: 353 (F; Aldrichia). Type locality: [Calcutta, West Bengal], India (NHMUK).



Ameen, M.-U., & Talukdar, M.Z.I. (1974c). Pupal chaetotaxy of the common mosquitoes of Dacca. Beiträge zur Entomologie, 24(1,4), 87–95.

Aslamkhan, M. (1971b). The mosquitoes of Pakistan I. A checklist. Mosquito Systematics, 3(4), 147–159.

Basio, R. G. (1971b). The mosquito fauna of the Philippines (Diptera, Culicidae). Manila: National Museum of the Philippines. 198pp.Basio, R. G., & Basio, L. S. (1971b). On Philippine mosquitoes. VI. Tripteroides (Tripteroides) reiseni, a new species (Diptera: Culicidae). Philippine Journal of Science, 100(2), 103–105.

Bonne-Wepster, J., & Swellengrebel, N.H. (1953). The anopheline mosquitoes of the Indo-Australian Region. Amsterdam: J. H. de Bussy.

Chandra, G., Bhattacharjee, I., & Chatterjee, S. (2010). A review on Anopheles subpictus Grassi—A biological vector. Acta Tropica, 115(1), 142–154.

Chaudhry, S., Gupta, N.S., & Chhilar, J.S. (2005). Salivary polytene chromosome mapping of Anopheles (Cellia) subpictus Grassi (Culicidae: Diptera). Genome, 48(2), 241–246.

Chhilar, J.S., & Chaudhry, S. (2012). Phylogenetic analysis of Anopheles (Cellia) subpictus Grassi using rDNA-ITS2 sequence. Proceedings of the Zoological Society (Calcutta), 65(1), 1–10.

Christophers, S.R. (1933). The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Diptera.Vol. IV. Family Culicidae. Tribe Anophelini. London: Taylor and Francis.

Christophers, S.R., & Barraud, P.J. (1931). The eggs of Indian Anopheles, with descriptions of the hitherto undescribed eggs of a number of species. Records of the Malaria Survey of India, 2(1), 161–192.

Darsie, R.F., Jr., & Pradhan, S.P. (1990). The mosquitoes of Nepal: Their identification, distribution and biology. Mosquito Systematics, 22(2), 69–130.

Davis, N.C. (1926). Notes on the female hypopygia of anopheline mosquitoes, with special reference to some Brazilian species. American Journal of Hygiene, 6, 1–22.

Giles, G. M. (1899). A description of the Culicidae employed by Major R. Ross, I.M.S. in his investigations on malaria. Journal of Tropical Medicine, 2, 62–65.

Grassi, G. B. (1899). Ancora sulla malaria. R.C. Accad. Lincei, 8, 100–104.Grassi, G. B., Bignami, A., & Bastianelli, G. (1899). Resoconto degli studi fatti sulla malaria durante il mese di gennaio. Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Rendiconti della Classe di Scienze Fisiche, Matematiche e Naturali (R C Accad Lincei), 8, 100–104.

Hara, J. (1959). Taxonomical notes on the female terminalia of some anopheline mosquitoes of Japan and Formosa. Taxonomic and ecological studies on mosquitoes of Japan (Part 12). Japanese Journal of Experimental Medicine, 29, 107–119.

Harrison, B.A., & Klein, J.M. (1975). A revised list of the Anopheles of Cambodia. Mosquito Systematics, 7(1), 11–12.

Kyalo, D., Amratia, P., Mundia, C.W., Mbogo, C.M., Coetzee, M., & Snow, R.W. (2017). A geo-coded inventory of anophelines in the Afrotropical Region south of the Sahara: 1898–2016. Wellcome Open Research, 2, 57.

Lee, D.J., Hicks, M.M., Griffiths, M., Debenham, M.L., Bryan, J.H., Russell, R.C., . . . Marks, E.N. (1987b). The Culicidae of the Australasian region. Volume 5. Commonwealth Department of Health, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Monograph Series, 2.

Namgay,R.,  Drukpa, T.,  Wangdi, T.,  Pemo, D.,  Harbach, R. E., Somboon, P. (2018). A checklist of the Anopheles mosquito species (Diptera: Culicidae) in Bhutan. Acta Tropica 188 (2018) 206–212.

Narang, N., Narang, S., & Kitzmiller, J.B. (1973). The salivary chromosomes of Anopheles subpictus. Parassitologia, 15, 99–120.

Nguyen Thuong Hien 1968. The genus of Anopheles in Vietnam. Saigon: Bureau of Entomology, National Malaria Program/ Republic of Vietnam. English translation by Military Entomology Information Service. 205pp.

Oo, T.T., Storch, V., & Becker, N. (2004). Review of the Anopheles mosquitoes of Myanmar. Journal of Vector Ecology, 29(1), 21–40.

Penn, G.H. (1949b). The pupae of the mosquitoes of New Guinea. Pacific Science, 3, 3–85.

Rattanarithikul, R., Harrison, B.A., Harbach, R.E., Panthusiri, P., & Coleman, R.E. (2006b). Illustrated keys to the mosquitoes of Thailand. IV. Anopheles. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 128(Supplement 2), 2.

Reid, J.A. (1966). A note on Anopheles subpictus Grassi and A. indefinitus Ludlow (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology, 3, 327–331.

Reid, J.A. (1968). Anopheline mosquitoes of Malaya and Borneo. Studies from the Institute for Medical Research Malaysia, 31, 1–520.

Reuben, R., & Suguna, S.G. (1983). Morphological differences between sibling species of the taxon Anopheles subpictus Grassi in India, with notes on relationships with known forms. Mosquito Systematics, 15(2), 117–126.

Ross, E.S., & Roberts, H.R. (1943b). Mosquito atlas. Part II. Eighteen old world anophelines important to malaria. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute.

Singh, S.P., Raghavendra, K., Kumar, R., Nanda, N., & Subbarao, S.K. (2004). Morphotaxonomic studies to identify the members of the Anopheles subpictus Grassi (Diptera: Culicidae) species complex in riverine villages of District Sonepat, Haryana State, India. Journal of Communicable Diseases, 36(1), 35–40.

Sinka, M.E., Bangs, M.J., Manguin, S., Chareonviriyaphap, T., Patil, A.P., Temperley, W.H., ... Hay, S.I. (2011). The dominant Anopheles vectors of human malaria in the Asia-Pacific region: Occurrence data, distribution maps and bionomic précis. Parasites & Vectors, 4(1), 89.

Suguna, S.G. (1982). Cytological and morphological evidences for sibling species in Anopheles subpictus Grassi. Journal of Communicable Diseases, 14, 1–8.

Suguna, S.G., Rathinam, K.G., Rajavel, A.R., & Dhanda, V. (1994). Morphological and chromosomal descriptions of new species in the Anopheles subpictus complex. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 8(1), 88–94.

Surendran, S.N., Sarma, D.K., Jude, P.J., Kemppainen, P., Kanthakumaran, N., Gajapathy, K., . . . Walton, C. (2013). Molecular characterization and identification of members of the Anopheles subpictus complex in Sri Lanka. Malaria Journal, 12, 304.

Theobald, F.V. (1903a). A monograph of the Culicidae of the World (Vol. 3). London: British Museum (Natural History). 359pp

Whelan, P., & Hapgood, G. (2000). A mosquito survey of Dili, East Timor, and implications for disease control. Arbovirus Research in Australia, 8, 405–416.



Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit (Year). Anopheles subpictus species page Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit Website,, accessed on [date (e.g. 03 February 2020) when you last viewed the site].