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Simuliidae - Blackflies, Buffalo-midges

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Classification

NEMATOCERA, Culicomorpha, Chironomoidea

Number of British species: 33

Size: T-S

Difficulty: 3-5

Study group

Characters

Bloodsucking, minute to medium sized (1.2-6 mm), stout, usually dark coloured Nematocera. Eyes holoptic in the male, dichoptic in the female; ocelli absent; antenna short and stout, tapering toward the end, with 11, rarely 9 segments. Wing short and wide, with a distinct anal lobe; wing clear, in some cases slightly tinged; costa and R-veins stronger than the other veins; vein CuA2 usually curving like an elongate, inverted S. Legs short and stout.

Biology

The larvae are found in several types of running water, attached to a substrate like stones, metal objects, plastic bags, plants, branches, etc., at or above the bottom. They live on micro-organisms and small organic particles they filter from the water. Pupation takes place inside a cocoon. The adults feed on nectar and plant juices, females of a number of species feed on the blood of both cold-blooded and warm-blooded vertebrates and are known as 'black flies'. Feeding takes place in daylight, mainly during the morning and evening hours. In the tropics, but also in the tundra, taiga and some East European regions, Simuliidae can occur in such vast numbers as to interfere with, or entirely prevent, human activity.

Identification

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