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I am writing a script about a post-apocalyptic Earth. Technically, humans and many other sentient species survived, but almost all bee species are extinct. But mosquitoes survived and became the most effective pollinators.

One species of the Culex genus evolved to be eusocial. Its scientific name: Culex eusocialis. They are my elves.

But dipterans tend to be solitary. So, I wonder if it could happen in real life.

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  • $\begingroup$ Spiders tend to be solitary as well, but en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_spider s do exist. So with a lot of niches left open after a mass extinction, I expect it is certainly possible, though I don't have a specific evolutionary path planned out (or this would be an answer instead of a comment). $\endgroup$ – Logan R. Kearsley Jun 6 at 0:59
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Easily.

There is an enormously large variety of life already on this planet. Many insects are actually readily considered some of the most Eusocial species on the planet.

Ants, wasps, bees, termites, bees and aphids all evolved eusocial characteristics and there is no reason to think Culex would be restricted in the future to solitary behaviour only.

If there are evolutionary pressures that enable more reproductive success in acting as a group, insects are actually (due to the short life span, rapid expansion, and high degree of environmental dependancy) more likely (and easily quickly) than other classes to become eusocial if it benefits them.

One way could be role-splitting to overcome environmental restrictions, such as Culux needing to venture far for food, but must nest eggs in protected areas due to increasing competition for eating young/eggs, requiring specialised roles. This could easily start the need for intimate social structures that are a common feature of Eusocial creatures.

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Only the adults are solitary. Dipteran larvae can be very social.

black soldier fly larvae source

Black soldier fly larvae live in huge masses. Every year they show up and outcompete the worms in my worm bin. They are freaking voracious. Pumpkin guts are gone in no time. And apparently they operate as a macro-organism - they keep each other warm and have a cooperative macro-organismal feeding movement.

https://www.livescience.com/64691-maggot-fountains.html

That's what scientists found while studying the dinnertime of black soldier fly larvae, or maggots. When vast quantities of these larvae feed together, their surging movement around their food creates a living fountain of writhing bodies. That may sound revolting, but the strategy makes maggots uniquely efficient at devouring meals en masse, scientists reported in a new study.

In your future eusocial dipterans, they are juveniles. The winged adults are only dispersal forms. Which is black soldier flies again - the impressively wasplike huge adults do not feed at all; they live only to mate, then die. Most of the time, these animals are maggots.

In your future world the dipteran maggot mass is the awesome superorganism, writhing in their hundreds of thousands from food source to food source like army ants. Don't sleep on the ground.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is the pollination is incidental? $\endgroup$ – rek Jun 8 at 3:26

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