We have sequenced six overlapping clones from a library of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones derived from a laboratory strain of the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, the major vector of human malaria in Africa. The resulting uninterrupted 528-kb sequence is from the 8C region of the mosquito 2R chromosome, at or very near the major refractoriness locus associated with melanotic encapsulation of parasites. This sequence represents the first extensive view of the mosquito genome structure encompassing 48 genes. Genomic comparison reveals that the majority of the orthologues are found in six microsyntenic clusters in Drosophila melanogaster. A BAC clone that is wholly contained within this region demonstrates the existence of a remarkable degree of local polymorphism in this species, which may prove important for its population structure and vectorial capacity.