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Midges (Chironomus spp.)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Midges



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Despite the striking similarity, Midges in the Chironomidae family do not bite like the pesky mosquitoes they so closely resemble.



Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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, shorelines, and banks of any body of water. Lakes and ponds often see huge congregations of them. Thanks to poor flying ability, they are at the mercy of wind currents and can be blown into backyards. For this reason, they may be considered a nuisance to homeowners. They like to take shelter under soffits, eaves, and covered patios. They also seem to be attracted to artificial lights at night and many homes are also lit in those places which can be a nuisance. Large groups may congregate; this in turn may attract Midges predators like spiders to those areas. Adult Midges 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 fish. Adults do not feed and spend their short lives focused on reproduction.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Diptera
        Family: Chironomidae
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          Genus: Chironomus
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            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Chironomus spp.
Other Name(s): Blind Mosquitoes, Fuzzy Bills
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 1mm to 3mm (0.03" to 0.11")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow, brown, black, white, gray
Descriptors: mosquito, feathery, long, slow, small
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 1mm (0.0in) and 3mm (0.1in)
Lo: 1mm
Md: 2mm
Hi: 3mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
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State of California graphic
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State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
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State of Idaho graphic
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State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Midges may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Midges. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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