Three myotropic peptides belonging to the Arg-amide insect tachykinin family were isolated from whole-body extracts of the mosquito, Culex salinarius. The peptides, APSGFMGMR-NH2, APYGFTGMR-NH2 and APSGFFGMR-NH2 (designated culetachykinin I, II, and III) were isolated and purified on the basis of their ability to stimulate muscle contractions of isolated Leucophaea maderae hindgut. Biologically inactive methionine sulfoxides of two of the three peptides were isolated using an ELISA system based upon antiserum raised against APYGFTGMR-NH2 and identified with mass spectrometry. Immunocytochemistry localized these peptides in cells in the brain, antennae, subesophageal, thoracic and abdominal ganglion, proventriculus and midgut. Nerve tracts containing these peptides were found in the median nerve of the brain, central body, nervi corpus cardiaci, cervical nerve, antennal lobe and on the surface of the midgut.