Dipteran polytene chromosomes provide an excellent model for understanding in species complexes, as well as for structural and functional cytogenetics. The status of species in the Culex pipiens
complex is controversial and the use of polytene chromosomes for cytogenetic analysis in the subfamily Culicinae has been difficult because of methodological problems. In this study, Malpighian tubule polytene chromosomes were obtained from young (0 to 12 h, 20°C) and old (20 to 42 h, 28°C) laboratory-bred C. pipiens quinquefasciatus
pupae. The chromosome maps for this species were constructed and compared with published data for C. pipiens pipiens
and C. p. quinquefasciatus
. Although the banding patterns were conserved between subspecies, analysis of the structural variations in the bands and interbands revealed differences apparently related to the physiological stage and ecogeographical strain. The organization of the centromeric regions in larval and pupal chromosomes showed greater similarity to each other than did those of pupal and adult chromosomes. The use of pupal polytene chromosomes for in situ hybridization with vector competence probes is discussed.