Chaoboridae - Phantom-midges

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NEMATOCERA, Culicomorpha, Culicoidea

Number of British species: 6

Size: S

Difficulty: 1-3


Small to medium sized (2-10 mm), delicate, pale yellow, brown or grey Nematocera, resembling mosquitoes (Culicidae). Antennae, wings, legs and abdomen long and slender. Ocelli absent; antenna always with 15 segments, plumose in the male; mouthparts protruding but much less than in mosquitoes. Upper part of thorax with few to many bristles but with 2 pairs of bare stripes. Wing narrow; venation as in Culicidae.


Larvae with a remarkably transparent body, especially in Chaoborus, giving rise to the name of phantom larvae. They are aquatic and prey on small invertebrates. The larvae of Mochlonyx occur in temporary puddles, those of Chaoborus and Mochlonyx in various permanent standing waters (lakes, ponds, swamps, peat bogs, etc.). The adults are largely found near the larval habitats and often fly in swarms.


families/nematocera/chaoboridae.txt · Last modified: 2008/05/24 17:00 (external edit)     Back to top
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