• 112 species in North America
  • Some species bite humans and are known as Sand Flies
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Psychodidae

Identification Tips:

Body form is variable, but most commonly:
• Body length 3 - 6 mm
• Capsule-like head distinct from body
• No brushes of long hairs on head
• More than 25 body segments and no prolegs
• Some segments have hardened plates on top
• Short cone-shaped breathing tube at end of abdomen
• Usually grey-brown in colour

• Very hairy

Life History:

• Larvae of most species found on semiquatic margins of waterbodies
• Burrow in mud, sand, decaying vegetation, and algae mats
• Consume bacteria, algae and organic detritus
• Common in human wastewater
• Some live in drainpipes, tolerating hot water, soap and disinfectant
• Pupate lying on bottom with no cocoon

Very Sensitive Somewhat Sensitive Facultative Somewhat Tolerant Very Tolerant

Primary Information Source:
Voshell, J. Reese. 2002. A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America. McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company. Blacksburg, Virginia.