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  • Midges - (Chironomus spp.)

    Midges - (Chironomus spp.)

    Midges in the Chironomidae family do not bite like the pesky mosquitoes they resemble. That doesn't mean they don't sometimes ruin outdoor fun.

    Staff Writer (1/25/2017): Midges are often mistaken for mosquitoes thanks to similar size and body shape. Because they do not take blood meals, they are also known as Blind Mosquitoes. Male Midges tend to have feathery antennae, something not seen on mosquitoes. Also, midges rest with their two front legs hovering above the surface, whereas mosquitoes lift their hind legs.

    Midges can be found along the coast, shores and beds of any body of water. Lakes and ponds will often see huge congregations of them. Thanks to poor flying ability, they are often at the mercy of wind currents and can be blown into backyards. For this reason, they may be considered a nuisance to homeowners. They may take shelter under soffits, eaves, or covered patios. They do seem to be attracted to artificial lights at night and many homes are also lit in those places. This in turn may attract predators of Midges like spiders to those areas. Adults have very short life spans (only a few days) so their presence is not permanent.

    Eggs are laid in shallow waters. Worm-like larvae hatch and serve two good roles in the ecosystem: as a cleaner (consumer) of decaying organic matter in the water and as a food source to other aquatic insects and even fish. Adults do not feed and spend their short lives mating.

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    Details of the:

    Category: Fly or Mosquito
    Common name: Midges
    Scientific Name: Chironomus spp.
    Other Names: Blind Mosquitoes, Fuzzy Bills

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Diptera
          Family: Chironomidae
           Genus: Chironomus
            Species: spp.

    Identifying Colors: yellow, brown, black, white, gray

    Additional Descriptors: mosquito, feathery, long, slow, small

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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