Midge
( Chironomini )


2012-1013-01100112-DIP01643-Chironomini[2001h53s,F,A,blacklight]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Chironomini
(Macquart ,1838 )
Common Name:Midge
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Diptera
Family:Chironomidae
Taxon Code:DIP01643
ITIS/TSN:129229

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Gardens at Lake Merritt, Lakeside Park, 666 Bellevue, Oakland
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CA01100110

RECOGNITION
Description
The Chironomini are a constituent of the family Chironomidae. The biodiversity of this family is notoriously difficult to identify and ecologists usually record them by species groups, rather than as individual species. Many species superficially resemble mosquitoes, but they lack the wing scales and elongated mouthparts of the Culicidae. Males are easily recognized by their plumose antennae. Wings are usually not hairy.

BIOLOGY
Food
Many reference sources in the past century or so have repeated the assertion that the Chironomidae do not feed as adults, but an increasing body of evidence contradicts this view. Adults of many species do, in fact, feed. The natural foods reported include fresh fly droppings, nectar, pollen, honeydew, and various sugar-rich materials.
Habitat
Larval stages of midges can be found in almost any aquatic or semiaquatic habitat, including treeholes, bromeliads, rotting vegetation, soil, and in sewage and artificial containers. They form an important fraction of the macrozoobenthos of most freshwater ecosystems. They are often associated with degraded or low-biodiversity ecosystems because some species have adapted to virtually anoxic conditions and are dominant in polluted waters. Larvae of some species are bright red in color due to a hemoglobin analog; these are often known as ""bloodworms"". Their ability to capture oxygen is further increased by their making undulating movements. A number of chironomid species inhabit marine habitats. Midges of the genus Clunio are found in the intertidal zone, where they have adjusted their entire life cycle to the rhythm of the tides.
Importance
Adults in large numbers can be pests. They can damage paint, brick, and other surfaces with their droppings. Larvae and pupae are important prey for many kinds of aquatic fish, and for newts, aquatic insects (especially dragonflies), birds and bats. Midges are also a source of food in some human communities. Also, the family to which the Chiromini belong are important indicator organisms for the presence, absence, or quantities of various species in a waterways.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
Tribe Chironomini. (bugguide.net/node/view/331010). Accessed March 5, 2017. .
ITIS.


.