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


Midge (Non biting) Family: Chironomidae

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:     Arthropoda
Class:        Insecta
Order:       Diptera
Suborder:   Nematocera
Infraorder: Culicomorpha
Superfamily:       Chironomoidea
Family:      Chironomidae (Non-biting midges)
Common names: Non-biting midges, Lake flies, Non-biting Midges, Blind Mosquitoes, Common Midges

This is a large taxon of insects; some estimates of the species numbers suggest well over 10000 worldwide. They are notoriously difficult to identify. 
Non-biting midge is small, delicate flies that look like mosquitoes. They often "dance" in the air in large swarms over water or over lawns. At rest, characteristically hold their front legs above head-height and extended forward, giving the illusion of elongate antennae to the untrained eye.  The males have plumose (feathery) antennae.
Their habit is damp areas or near bodies of water. 
Adults are short-lived and do not need to feed through many will take honeydew.
Larval stages of Chironomidae can be found in almost any aquatic or semiaquatic habitat, including tree holes, bromeliads, rotting vegetation, soil, and in sewage and artificial containers. They form an important fraction of the macrozoobenthos of most freshwater ecosystems. They vary in colour, the red larvae are called bloodworms. In water, their ability to capture oxygen is further increased by their making undulating movements.
Chironomidae larvae and pupae are important food items for fish, such as trout. 



A photo of a male with a plumose (feathery) antennae. 

A male

Photo of a female midge It has not got feathery antennae of the male.


Another species




Photographed at Hans Bay, Lake Kaniere, Westcoast, South Island

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0