T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Fly (Thread horns) Suborder: Nematocera

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Nematocera
Common names: Thread horns

The Nematocera flies are in a suborder of elongated flies with thin, segmented antennae and mostly aquatic larvae, consisting of the wood gnats, window-gnats and march flies and love bugs, net-winged midges, gall midges or gall gnats, biting midges, phantom midges, non biting midges, mosquitoes, fungus gnats, moth flies or drain flies, phantom crane flies, minute black scavenger flies or dung midges, dark-winged fungus gnats, black flies, crane flies, winter crane flies.
Nematocera are typically characterized by filamentous, multi segmented antennae which may be plumose in some males. The larvae are mostly aquatic and have distinct heads with mouth parts that may be modified for filter feeding. The pupae are orthorrhaphous (meaning adults emerge from the pupa through a straight seam in the pupal cuticle). The bodies and legs of the adults are usually elongate, and these flies often have relatively long abdomens.
Many species form mating swarms of males, and in some of these, competition for females is extreme. Although many species (as larvae) have a strong association with water, even within a single family there may be a trend toward semiaquatic and terrestrial habitats.
Most have long and slender antennae, which in some families can be highly plumose. Other families have short, thick antennae (e.g. the march flies (Bibionidae). Most of the flies in this group have slender bodies and long, narrow wings though some species have thick squat bodies.









Photo below are of larva of the thread-horns, predatory, fungus gnats.