Since 1984, Anopheles
has been considered a mosquito species that is involved in the
transmission of malaria in Colombia, after having been incriminated as such with epidemiological evidence from
a malaria outbreak in Cunday-Villarrica, Tolima. Subsequent morphological analyses of females captured in the
same place and at the time of the outbreak showed that the species responsible for the transmission was not An.
, but rather Anopheles pholidotus
. However, the associated morphological stages and DNA sequences of
from the foci of Cunday-Villarrica had not been analysed. Using samples that were caught recently
from the outbreak region, the purpose of this study was to provide updated and additional information by analysing
the morphology of female mosquitoes, the genitalia of male mosquitoes and fourth instar larvae of An. pholidotus
which was confirmed with DNA sequences of cytochrome oxidase I and rDNA internal transcribed spacer. A total of
1,596 adult females were collected in addition to 37 larval collections in bromeliads. Furthermore, 141 adult females,
which were captured from the same area in the years 1981-1982, were analysed morphologically. Ninety-five DNA
sequences were analysed for this study. Morphological and molecular analyses showed that the species present in
this region corresponds to An. pholidotus
. Given the absence of An. lepidotus
, even in recent years, we consider that
the species of mosquitoes that was previously incriminated as the malaria vector during the outbreak was indeed An.
, thus ending the controversy.