Olfaction in Anopheles mosquitoes

Joanna K. Konopka, Darya Task, Ali Afify, Joshua Raji, Katelynn Deibel, Sarah Maguire, Randy Lawrence, Christopher J. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


As vectors of disease, mosquitoes are a global threat to human health. The Anopheles mosquito is the deadliest mosquito species as the insect vector of the malaria-causing parasite, which kills hundreds of thousands every year. These mosquitoes are reliant on their sense of smell (olfaction) to guide most of their behaviors, and a better understanding of Anopheles olfaction identifies opportunities for reducing the spread of malaria. This review takes a detailed look at Anopheles olfaction. We explore a range of topics from chemosensory receptors, olfactory neurons, and sensory appendages to behaviors guided by olfaction (including host-seeking, foraging, oviposition, and mating), to vector management strategies that target mosquito olfaction. We identify many research areas that remain to be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbjab021
JournalChemical Senses
StatePublished - 2021


  • chemosensory receptors
  • host-seeking
  • malaria
  • olfactory neurons
  • sensory appendages
  • vector management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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