London underground mosquito
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The London Underground mosquito (Culex molestus) is a species of mosquito in the genus Culex found in the London Underground, though it has been documented well before the London Underground was built. It is an underground variant of Culex pipiens that has adapted to live underground. During evolution debates, it can be a case for evolution, along with the documentations of E. coli mutations in the Lenski affair, as the mosquito has adapted to an environment starkly different from over the ground to the point it differentiated from Culex pipiens.
The evidence for this mosquito being distinct from C. pipiens comes from research by Kate Byne and Richard Nichols. The two species have very different behaviours such as C. molestus not being required hibernate compared to its overworld, are extremely difficult to mate as C. molestus mated in closed spaces and through individuals compared to swarms due to nature of underground, and show genetic drift.
Biologists named the London Underground mosquito Culex molestus due to the way it assaulted Londoners sleeping in the Underground during the Blitz, although this name seems to already have been given to a species of mosquito found in Australia, named as long ago as 1775.
- Alan Burdick (2001). "Insect From the Underground — London, England Underground home to different species of mosquitos". Natural History.
- "London underground source of new insect forms". The Times. 1998-08-26.
- Katharine Byrne and Richard A Nichols (1999) "Culex pipiens in London Underground tunnels: differentiation between surface and subterranean populations"
- "Culex molestus Forskal, 1775". Discover Life. University of Georgia.