The Anopheles quadrimaculatus s.l. (Say) complex consists of at least five species distinguished by distribution, genetic incompatibility, and allele frequencies. However, the distributions of the members have only been described by collection locations. Building on this information and environmental data, preliminary predictions of their distribution were produced using a genetic algorithm and point occurrence data. Based on resulting predicted border areas and undersampled regions, we obtained and analyzed additional geo-referenced specimens and compared their distribution with our preliminary predictions. We found good agreement between the preliminary predictions and the subsequent collections, regardless of the fact that additional specimens were deliberately sought from areas most likely to reveal inconsistencies. Final predicted distributions describe widespread distribution of A.quadrimaculatus throughout the eastern United States. A. maverlius and A. smaragdinus have similar predicted ranges limited to the southeastern United States. The predicted ranges of the sister taxa A. diluvialis and A. inundatus were similar to one another along the southeastern coast even though they seem to be allopatric. The historical role of A. quadrimaculatus s.l. in transmission of malaria was also examined. We conclude that A. quadrimaculatus s.s. was the only species of the complex capable of vectoring malaria in the United States throughout the area in which malaria occurred. However, any or all the members of the complex may have been regionally important, particularly in areas of most intense transmission.
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Vol. 41 • No. 4