A3: Epithet Epitaphs – Sir V.B. Wigglesworth


Wigglesworthia glossinidia was discovered by Sir Vincent Brian Wigglesworth, a British scientist who studied entomology (study of insects), in the gut of the tsetse fly. The gram-negative bacteria are classified in the Wigglesworthia  genus for its discoverer, and  glossinidia  to indicate the bacteria’s origins. Which is to say, in the genus Glossina, which is placed in their own family Glossinidae  (or the Tsetse fly). It has a symbiotic relationship with the fly, unable to survive outside its host it provides the fly with nutrients that can’t be acquired from the outside environment, without it the female fly cannot reproduce. More research is being done on the bacteria, as it’s coupled with the transmission of African trypanosomes, or sleeping sickness. Being able to extract Wigglesworthia from the gut of the fly may prove to prevent sleeping sickness, however research is slowed by the fact the bacterial cultivation in a laboratory setting has been so far unsuccessful.


Sir Vincent Brian Wigglesworth, entomologist and contributor to insect physiology, including the discovery of Wigglesworthia glossinidia.
1. “Vincent Wigglesworth.’ Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Oct. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Wigglesworth.
2. “Wigglesworthia Glossinidia.’ Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Feb. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigglesworthia_glossinidia.
3. “Wigglesworthia.’ Wigglesworthia – Microbewiki, May 2016, microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Wigglesworthia.
                         Written by John Pierce

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