Retired physician Dr Ted Nye holds part of a mosquito
collection he is donating to the Otago Museum. Photo by
Retired Dunedin cardiac physician and amateur
entomologist Dr Ted Nye is donating his mosquito collection to
the Otago Museum, nearly trebling its mosquito specimen
As well as having English medical qualifications, Dr Nye (88)
has a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical
Medicine, focusing on a mosquito-linked tropical virus.
And he is an amateur dipterist - a collector of flies - who
started collecting mosquitoes as a student in 1946.
Dr Nye's mosquito collection comprises about 400 specimens of
pinned insects and adult larvae, involving about 20 species.
The specimens were gathered over about 60 years in England,
the Pacific Islands and New Zealand, including some from
Otago, museum officials said. Museum research and
interpretation co-ordinator, natural sciences, Emma Burns
welcomed Dr Nye's gift as a ''fantastic resource''.
Dr Nye said his interest might have been ''stimulated by the
well known association between mosquitoes and certain
That link had not been fully proven scientifically until
about 1897, after the work of researchers Patrick Manson and
then Sir Ronald Ross, the latter a Nobel Prize-winner whose
biography, Ronald Ross: Malariologist & Polymath,
Dr Nye co-authored in 1997.
Dr Nye warned that ''constant vigilance'' was needed in New
Zealand, because future warmer conditions arising from
climate change posed greater risks of mosquito-linked
New species could eventually become established, and the
geographical distribution of species within the country could
And if temperatures of about 18degC or higher were sustained
for longer, viral replication could increase within
mosquitoes, posing greater disease transmission risks.
Four new exotic mosquito species had already been added to
the country's 12 native species.
And the South Island could also be at risk in future, given
that mosquito-borne Whataroa virus, which affects birds, had
already been detected on the West Coast last century.
Born in Belgium of British parents, Dr Nye spent most of his
early adult life in England, moving to Dunedin in 1960.
In 1967, he co-founded the Phoenix Club, a pioneering New
Zealand heart health club which promoted the then initially
controversial idea of exercise therapy for cardiac patients.