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Malaysian Parasites 37: An Introduction to the Ecology of the Mosquitoes of the Lowland Dipterocarp Forest of Selangor, Malaya

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Towards the end of 1955 the U.S. Army Medical Research Unit USAMRU began extensive collections of adult mosquitoes in Ulu Gombak Forest Reserve, Selangor. The mosquitoes were identified by one of us W. W. M. and the staff of the Division of Entomology of this Institute I.M.R., after which they were returned to USAMRU for attempted isolation of viruses. These catches were virtually the first regular forest collections in Malaya since Leicesters classical work at the beginning of the century Leicester, 1908, and the problem which they immediately posed was one of taxonomy and nomenclature. Many of the species were unrepresented in the Institute collection, doubts often arose over the correct identification of specimens, and, consequently, much of the material could be identified only to a species group. The position was aggravated by the fact that virologists require large numbers of mosquitoes alive, or very recently killed, for their virus isolation work, and entomologists prefer mosquitoes on pins for definitive identification. In the event, most of the identifications were done while the mosquitoes were alive but representative specimens were put aside for more leisurely examination. It became clear from the adult catches of USAMRU that the mosquitoes of Ulu Gombak would repay closer study. Most species could not be separated satisfactorily with the existing keys, the larvae and males of many were unknown, and practically nothing was known of their breeding and biting habits. Following the recommendations of a conference on virus diseases held at the Institute for Medical Research in 1954 Institute for Medical Research, Malaya, 1955, the investigation of those, and allied, problems has been a main concern of one of us W. W. M. for several years, and the following account is based principally on the collections of his unit.

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  • Biology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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