William Gilchrist's (1836) observations on mosquitoes in the Madras Presidency, India

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This article validates the note on the developmental biology of a mosquito (possibly an anopheline taxon) under the title On the metamorphoses of the mosquito by William Gilchrist, a medical officer attached to the Madras Medical Establishment, Madras, India, which was published in the Madras Journal of Literature and Science in 1836. In today's context, Gilchrist's observations arouse interest given that they were made in Hoonsoor (now Hunsur, Karnataka, 12°18′27″N, 76°17′16″E), a remote village (town?) in the Madras Presidency in the 1820s, when magnifying optical instruments were crude and primitive even in Europe. Gilchrist's notes gain in validity especially because he made the observations approximately six decades before Ronald Ross established the connection between the mosquito and malaria. Scientific monographs and papers on Indian mosquitoes of early twentieth century are those of George Giles, who started his studies with Ronald Ross in Calcutta at the turn of the nineteenth century. Gilchrist's note precedes the work of Giles, but does not figure in Giles's papers and monographs, published nearly seven decades later
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalOriental Insects
Issue number4
Early online dateDec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2014


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