Midges, Nonbiting

Midges, Nonbiting

 

(Chironomidae, Tenipedidae), a family of dipterous insects. Length, 1.5–15 mm. The males usually have pinnate antennae and long legs. They live three to seven days and do not feed. There are more than 2,000 species.

Nonbiting midges are ubiquitous. The larvae and pupae inhabit freshwater bodies, soil, seas, and oceans. They build tubule homes in slime, in stones, and on plants and plant tissues; some live free. They feed on algae, bacteria, and detritus; some are predators; a few are parasites of sponges, mollusks, and mayflies. The larvae live from one to 12 months, the pupae two to three days. Benthic larvae (aquatic larvae) are the principal food of freshwater benthophage fish.

REFERENCES

Opredelitel’ nasekomykh Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR, vol. 5, part 1. Moscow, 1969.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 3. Moscow, 1969.
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