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 Major Groups | Insecta (insects) | Diptera (true flies) | Ceratopogonidae


Major Group: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Ceratopogonidae

Descriptive Features:

  • head capsule complete, not retractile into thorax
  • mandibles usually with several teeth
  • abdomen 9-segmented
  • body segments with or without long fleshy tubercles, if without then bead-like segments at least twice as long as wide
  • anterior prolegs absent or present
  • posterior prolegs long, short (or absent)
  • head, thorax and 1st abdominal segment not fused
  • Total length: up to 12mm
  • Taxonomic Checklist: Subfamilies

    Distribution: Australia wide

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 4

    Functional Feeding Group: predators, gathering collectors, scrapers 

    Ecology: Ceratopogonid adults are commonly known as ‘biting midges’.
    Instream habitat: Larvae live in mud, debris, rotting vegetation or floating algal masses found in container habitats, water-filled tree holes, rock-pools, seepages over rock, slow flowing areas of streams or the margins of lakes. A number of species breed in saline or brackish habitats.
    Feeding ecology:Larvae feed on plant and soil detritus, fungi, algae or small invertebrates.
    Life history: Some Ceratopogonidae species require a blood meal after mating and before they can lay the first batch of eggs whilst others are fully autogenous and do not feed.The short-lived pupal stage is relatively inactive. In North America, there are several generations per year and adults may be found during all seasons.
    Information Sources: Colless & McAlpine 1991, Williams 1980, Hawking & Smith 1997, Evenhius 2007, Merritt & Cummins 1996
    Key to Subfamilies: Elson-Harris 1990 (pupae)

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