Anopheline adults rest with their abdomens positioned at a discrete angle to the surface, whereas other species keep their bodies parallel to the surface, which makes them easy to identify when sitting on the skin.
Species in the genus Anopheles have long palps approximately equal in length to the proboscis. They are very dark mosquitoes covered in dark brown to black hairs. Anopheles quadrimaculatus has dark scales on the wings with patches of scales forming four darker spots on the wing
Like all mosquitoes, anophelines go through four stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The first three stages are aquatic and last 5-14 days, depending on the species and the ambient temperature. The adult stage is when the female Anopheles mosquito acts as malaria vector. The adult females can live up to a month (or more in captivity) but most probably do not live more than 1-2 weeks in nature.
One important behavioral factor is the degree to which an Anopheles species prefers to feed on humans or animals such as cattle. Anthrophilic Anopheles are more likely to transmit the malaria parasites from one person to another. Most Anopheles mosquitoes are not exclusively anthropophilic or zoophilic. Most Anopheles mosquitoes are crepuscular (active at dusk or dawn) or nocturnal (active at night). Some Anopheles mosquitoes feed indoors (endophagic) while others feed outdoors (exophagic). After blood feeding, some Anopheles mosquitoes prefer to rest indoors (endophilic) while others prefer to rest outdoors (exophilic). Factors that affect a mosquito's ability to transmit malaria include its innate susceptibility to Plasmodium, its host choice, and its longevity. Factors that should be taken into consideration when designing a control program include the susceptibility of malaria vectors to insecticides and the preferred feeding and resting location of adult mosquitoes.