Suborder Nematocera

Antennae apparently with 6 or more segments (3rd subdivided), plumose in some males. Wing venation varies from complete (with R 5-branched) to greatly reduced. R2+3 often forked (never forked in other suborders). Mostly slender, soft-bodied, midgelike, with relatively long legs and antennae. Larvae usually aquatic or living in moist soil, the nonaquatic larvae generally being gall makers.

CRANE FLIES Family Tipulidae Identification: Mosquitolike, with very long legs. Mesonotum with a V-shaped suture. Ocelli absent. R with 4 or fewer branches.

2 anal veins reach wing margin.

This is a large group, with nearly 1500 N. American species. Many of its members are very common flies. Most species are 10-25 mm. and brownish or gray; a few have dark markings on the wings. Larvae live in water or in moist soil, and generally feed on decaying plant material. Adults are most common near water or where there is abundant vegetation. Crane flies do not bite.

WINTER CRANE FLIES Family Trichoceridae Identification: Similar to Tipulidae, but with ocelli.

These crane flies are most likely to be seen in early spring or on mild days in winter. They are not common. Larvae live in decaying plant materials.


Identification: Similar to Tipulidae, but R 5-branched. M3 cell with a cross vein. Anal angle of wing well developed.

This group contains 4 N. American species, 1 in the East and

3 in the West, none of them common. The eastern species occurs from Quebec to Florida; it is 7-10 mm., and grayish brown with brown crossbands on the wings; it generally occurs in dense vegetation near streams, and the larvae live in wet sand along stream shores.

PHANTOM CRANE FLIES Family Ptychopteridae

Identification: Similar to Tipulidae, but wings with only 1 anal vein reaching margin and without a closed discal cell.

Our most common ptychopterid is Bittacomorpha clavipes (Fabricius), which has legs banded with black and white and the basal tarsal segment swollen; it often flies with the legs extended. Other species lack leg bands and do not have a swollen basal tarsal segment. Larvae live in decaying plant materials and adults occur in swampy areas.

MOTH and SAND FLIES Family Psychodidae Identification: Small, very hairy flies, mostly 5 mm. or less. Wings usually broad, pointed apically, and at rest are held rooflike over body (moth flies) or together above body (sand flies). R 5-branched.

Moth flies occur near drains and sewers, often in considerable numbers; larvae live in places where there are decaying materials. Sand flies (subfamily Phlebotominae) occur near water; larvae live in moist soil. Moth flies are common and widely distributed, and do not bite; sand flies occur in the South and the tropics, and they bite. Sand flies serve as vectors of several diseases — pappataci fever, kala-azar, oriental sore, espundia, and oroya fever or verruga peruana — in S. America and other tropical areas of the world.

NET-WINGED MIDGES Family Blephariceridae Identification: Mosquitolike in size, with long legs and resembling crane flies but without a V-shaped suture on mesono-tum. Anal angle of wing projects. Wings sometimes with a network of fine lines between the veins. Ocelli present.

These flies occur along swift-moving streams, in which the larvae live. They are relatively rare.

NYMPHOMYIID FLIES Family Nymphomyiidae Not illus. Identification: Wings vestigial. Antennae 5-segmented, 3rd segment large and club-shaped. Head elongate. Mouth parts vestigial. Legs long and slender and widely separated.

One species in this group has been reported from rapid streams in New Brunswick. Larvae are assumed to be aquatic.

MOUNTAIN MIDGES Family Deuterophlebiidae Not illus. Identification: Wings broad (broadest in basal J4), pubescent, almost veinless but with a fanlike development of folds. Antennae very long, at least 3 times as long as body. Ocelli and mouth parts lacking.

Four species of mountain midges have been reported from the West (Colorado to California), where the larvae occur in swift-flowing mountain streams.

DIXID MIDGES Family Dixidae

Identification: Similar to mosquitoes (p. 266) but wings lacking scales and body bare (not scaly).

Dixid midges are common and widely distributed insects. Larvae occur in pools and ponds, and adults are usually found near these habitats. Larvae are slender and wormlike, and feed on surface of the water; the body is generally bent into a U, and the larvae move by alternately straightening and bending the body. Adults are blackish and 5-6 mm. They do not bite.

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