Talk:London Underground mosquito

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Links from other articles[edit]

This article could do with some - I can't find any suitable pages myself, though! Please place links if you know of some suitable pages!

Pagw 18:03, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Done added Evolution Nylon eating bacteria to name a few.

Nemogbr (talk) 23:03, 28 January 2010 (UTC) --Nemogbr (talk) 23:03, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Undescribed?[edit]

Are there any reliable sources which state the "London undergound mosquito" is not Culex molestus of Forskal, 1775 but an undescribed species?--Kevmin (talk) 04:56, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

The classification of Molestus is controversial but for example Mullen and Durden, Medical and Veterinary Entomology says: 'Culex molestus is a name sometimes applied to a variant of Cx. pipiens...' Most modern sources seem to consider them variants of the same species.
I haven't heard the claim that there is an undescribed species of mosquito biting people who use the Underground. If it was true I'd be tempted to try and catch one, but it seems unlikely. Since the mosquitoes seem to have been a significant nuisance, someone would have taken the trouble to identify them. Pchown (talk) 19:31, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Culex molestus is also mentioned as a synonym of Psorophora ciliata so maybe these pages should be merged. Alex1 (talk) 13:06, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
That's interesting. Looking at that the picture on that page, you certainly wouldn't mistake Psorophora ciliata for Culex pipiens. I wonder if the molestus suffix got used for two completely different species. It is an obvious word to associate with a mosquito, after all! Pchown (talk) 14:26, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

external accuracy critique[edit]

Ran across this comment in a discussion elsewhere:

Mosquito biologist here. That sub-species is merely one of many specializations of a mosquito species, and is so closely related to others of its nominative species that it is best referred to as a "molecular form" of C. pipiens (and there are probably thousands of such mosquito subspecies in the world as these insects are highly adapatable). The wikipedia page mis-summarizes the Heredity article it bases it's claims on; the cited journal article merely acknowledges that the subterranean population is in fact genetically isolated. That means that an allopatric speciation event could occur, but these are not separate species.

Could someone with sufficient knowledge of the subject check whether our article's use of the cited Heredity article is accurate? --Delirium (talk) 14:23, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

I don't have access to the full text of that article, but the abstract says that it's impossible to interbreed the underground and normal variants. That would make them separate species, wouldn't it?
It's kind of funny because, IIRC, older literature tends to talk about Culex molestus. Then people decided that it was a subspecies of Culex pipiens, but if you can't interbreed them... Pchown (talk) 20:11, 30 August 2013 (UTC)


I agree that the article does not seem to back up the assertion that it is a subspecies. The article seemed to be comparing the genetics of many different aboveground mosquitoes (C. pipiens) and did not address C. molestus at all. I don't believe that we should claim that it is a subspecies unless we can find another source. (guest user)

This is a good source for the article. Gomes B, Wilding CS, Weetman D, Sousa CA, Novo MT, Savage HM, Almeida APG, Pinto J, Donnelly MJ. 2015. Limited genomic divergence between intraspecific forms of culex pipiens under different ecological pressures. BMC Evolutionary Biology 15. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 152.7.224.4 (talk) 13:28, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

First described by Forsskal[edit]

This is a problem with this phrase:

  • It was first described as a distinct species by the biologist Forsskal in 1775,[1]

"Forsskal" is almost certainly Peter Forsskål (1732–1763), but he died before the date given. The cited source is a paper in a peer-reviewed journal, so we should not lightly reject it. It says:

  • The form molestus that was originally described as a species by the Linnaean disciple Forsskål in 1775 from Egypt has since been reduced to represent a bioform (bf.) of the species Cx. pipiens.

Peter Forsskål's date of death is confirmed by various sources [2], [3], [4]. However, his works were publiched posthumously in 1775 (see Peter Forsskål and [5]). It seems almost certain that the authors of the cited paper did not realise that the Forsskål publication was posthumous. In view of this I will remove the 1775 date as it is unreliably sourced, and give Forsskål's dates to indicate the approximate date of the first description, giving this text:

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