SPECIES ID / Invertebrates

True Flies

Non-Biting Midges


  • More than 1000 species in North America
Phylum: Athropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Chironomidae

Identification Tips:

• Elongated, narrow body with hardened head capsule
• Pairs of prolegs behind head and at and of abdomen
• Elaborate structure on head and thorax of pupae

Life History:

• Occur in all aquatic habitats
• Many are burrowers, others cling to vegetation or build cases to attach to objects
• Forage or filter feed for fine organic detritus,

Very Sensitive Somewhat Sensitive Facultative Somewhat Tolerant Very Tolerant
Some Some Most Some Some
Pollution Indicator • High numbers of bright red type(contain hemoglobin) indicate low dissolved oxygen levels  due to organic or nutrient pollution

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