Anopheles pulcherrimus Theobald, 1902




Etymology: most beautiful (L)

Anopheles pulcherrimus is heavily dusted with white and golden scales, most notably on its scutum, head and antennae. It is an unplaced member of the Neocellia Series of Anopheles subgenus Cellia and has one valid synonym: atropotenae Lindtrop.

Type locality: Lahore, [Punjab, Pakistan]

Type depository: Natural History Museum, London, England, United Kingdom (NHMUK)

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

ADULT (illustrated): Head: Palpus with 4 pale bands. Wing: Leading edge of wing with 4 distinct dark areas. Legs: Ti-I–III and Fe-I–III with sparse pale scales; Fe-II,III with longitudinal white lines terminating in an oval spot; Ta-III2 with at least apical 0.5 pale; Ta-III3–5 all pale. Abdomen: Terga densely covered with broad pale scales; II–VII-Te with prominent posterolateral dark scale tufts.

LARVA (not illustrated): Head: Seta 3-C with 412 branches; seta 4-C at most half as long as 2,3-C. Thorax: Seta 1-P with many lateral branches arising from stout main stem. Abdominal segments: Tergal plates on segments III–VII somewhat reduced, with concave posterior border not subsuming small rounded posterior accessory tergal plate.



Russell et al. 1943

Foote & Cook 1959

Glick 1992



adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Anopheles - Afrotropical Region - Adult

larval key icon

WRBU - Anopheles - Afrotropical Region - Larva

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WRBU - Anopheles - Western Palearctic Region - Adult

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WRBU - Genera - Global - Adult

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WRBU - Genera - Global - Larva

 adult mosquito key icon

WRBU - Genera - Eastern Palearctic - Adult

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WRBU - Genera - Eastern Palearctic - Larva

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WRBU - Anopheles (Cel.) Neocellia Series - Oriental - Adult

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WRBU - Anopheles (Cel.) Neocellia Series - Oriental - Larva

Exemplar DNA sequences

An. pulcherrimus  COI: JX255709–JX255712




Immature An. pulcherrimus are restricted to warm, sun-lit, stagnant habitats with abundant submerged vegetation—e.g., pools in river beds and floodland lakes. In warmer climates, shallow young rice fields are also productive larval habitats for this species.


Anopheles pulcherrimus is found in lowland river valleys in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, at elevations ranging to 1000 m above sea level. Although they will also feed on cattle and have been collected resting in cattle sheds and pit shelters, females are highly anthropophilic, and prefer to feed outdoors. In Herat, Afghanistan, An. pulcherrimus populations peak in the latter half of July and throughout August. During the stifling summer heat in the Indian subcontinent, many people sleep outside and An. pulcherrimus numbers swell. In Tajikistan in the 1970s, An. pulcherrimus biting rates reached 110-120 every five minutes in the evening. In the Sistan and Baluchistan provinces of Iran, and in Iraq, An. pulcherrimus populations are bivoltine, with two peaks—MayJune and OctNovember. However, no genetic differences were noted between the populations.



Afghanistan, Bahrain, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel (and Gaza Strip & West Bank), Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Kuwait, Turkey, Uzbekistan.

Distribution map for <em>Anopheles pulcherrimus</em> Theobald, 1902



VHR: Middle East

VHR: Medically Important Mosquitoes of EUCOM

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IMPORTANT REFERENCES (full citations below)

Theobald 1902a: 369 (F*)

Christophers & Barraud 1931: 180 (E*)

Senevet 1931: 41 (P*)

Christophers 1933: 311 (M*, F*, P, L*, E)

Russell et al. 1943 (F, L; keys, bionomics)

Bates et al. 1949: 434 (bionomics)

Macan 1950 (bionomics)

Foote & Cook 1959 (key, bionomics)

Chinayev 1965 (bionomics, distribution; Central Asia)

Baker et al. 1968 (chromosomes)

Gokberk 1970: 20 (distribution)

Gutsevich et al. 1974: 110 (M*, F, L*)

Bulichev 1977 (bionomics)

Glick 1992 (F*; key, taxonomy, distribution)

Zaim et al. 1992 (bionomics)

Djadid et al. 2003 (molecular taxonomy)

Ahmed et al. 2011 (distribution; Saudi Arabia)

Robert et al. 2019 (distribution; western Palaearctic)



syn. atropotenae Lindtrop

1924: 40 (A; Cellia; as var.). Type locality: Azerbaydzhan, USSR [Azerbaijan](LU).



Ahmed, A.M., Shaalan, E.A., Aboul-Soud, M.A.M., Tripet, F., & Al-Khedhairy, A.A. (2011). Mosquito vectors survey in the Al-Ahsaa district of eastern Saudi Arabia. Journal of Insect Science, 11, 176.

Bates, M., Beklemishev, W. N., & La Face, L. (1949). Anophelines of the Palearctic region. In M. F. Boyd (Ed.), Malariology: a comprehensive survey of all aspects of this group of diseases from a global standpoint, by 65 contributors (pp. 419–442). Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co.

Baker, R.H., Nasir, A.S., Aslamkhan, M. (1968). The salivary gland chromosomes of Anopheles pulcherrimus Theobald. Parassitologia, 10(2-3), 167-177 +5 plates.

Bulichev, V.P. (1977). Mosquito human attack activity at the virus foci of Tyagin in Tajikistan, In: Conference on “Theoretical Basis of Prophylaxis and Reduction of Infectious Diseases” pp. 90– 96. Leninobod [Khujand] , Tajikistan [in Russian].

Chinayev, P.P. (1965). Range and epidemiological importance of the malarial mosquitoes Anopheles maculipennis sacharovi Fv., A. superpictus Gr. and A. pulcherrimus Theob. (Diptera, Culicidae) in Soviet Central Asia. Entomological Review, 44(2), 164-169.

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.

Djadid, N.D., Sanati, M.H., Zare, M., & Hassanzehi, A. (2003). rDNA-ITS2 identification of Anopheles pulcherrimus (Diptera: Culicidae): genetic differences and phylogenetic relation with other Iranian vectors and its implications for malaria control. Iranian Biomedical Journal, 7(1), 1–6.

Foote, R.H., & Cook, D.R. (1959). Mosquitoes of medical importance. Agricultural Handbook, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 152, 1–158.

Glick, J.I. (1992). Illustrated key to the female Anopheles of southwestern Asia and Egypt (Diptera: Culicidae). Mosquito Systematics, 24(2), 125–153.

Gokberk, C. (1970). The first record of A. pulcherrimus Theobald 1902 in Turkey. Its morphology, ecology and distribution. Turk Hifzissihha Tecrube Bioloji Dergisi, 30, 20–27.

Gutsevich, A.V., Monchadskii, A.S., & Shtakel’berg, A.A. (1974). Fauna of the USSR. New series No. 100 Diptera. Vol. III, No. 4. Mosquitoes. Family Culicidae. Jerusalem, Israel: Keter Publishing House Jerusalem Ltd. (Original work published 1971).

Lindtrop, G.T. (1924). [The white malaria mosquito A. pulcherrimus in Azerbaijan.]. Russian Journal of Tropical Medicine, 3, 38–40.

Macan, T.T. (1950). The Anopheline mosquitoes of Iraq and north Persia. London School Hygiene Tropical Medi Research Memorandum No 7. London: H.K & Lewis Co Ltd.

Robert, V., Günay, F., Le Goff, G., Boussès, P., Sulesco, T., Khalin, A., Medlock, J.M., Kampen, H., Petrić, D. & F. Schaffner. (2019). Distribution chart for Euro-Mediterranean mosquitoes (western Palaearctic region). Journal of the European Mosquito Control Association, 37, 1–28.

Russell, P.F., Rozeboom, L.E., & Stone, A. (1943). Keys to the anopheline mosquitoes of the world with notes on their identification, distribution, biology, and relation to malaria. Philadelphia: The American Entomological Society, the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Senevet, G. (1931). Contribution à l'étude des nymphes d'anophelines (2e Memoire). Archives de l'Institut Pasteur d'Algérie, 9, 17–112.

Theobald, F.V. (1902a). A short description of the Culicidae of India, with descriptions of new species of Anopheles. Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society (B), 69, 367–394.

Zaim, M., Subbarao, S.K., Manouchehri, A.V., & Cochrane, A.H. (1993) Role of Anopheles culicifacies s.l. and An. pulcherrimus in malaria transmission in Ghassreghand (Baluchistan), Iran. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 9(1), 2326.



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