The Blephariceridae, commonly known as net-winged midges, are a nematoceran family in the order Diptera. The adults resemble crane flies except with a projecting anal angle in the wings, and different head shape, absence of the V on the mesonotum, and more laterally outstretched, forward-facing legs. They are uncommon, but dozens of genera occur worldwide, and over 200 species.

They are found near fast-flowing streams where the larvae live. Blepharicerid larvae are filter feeders and have suckers on their abdominal sternites, used to adhere to rocks in the torrents in which they live. These suckers are sometimes called creeping welts. These are of unique evolutionary origin within the Diptera.

One recent classification based largely on fossils treats this family as the sole member of its infraorder, but this has not gained wide acceptance.

Blepharicera fasciata male Grünberg 1910
Blepharicera fasciata
Scientific classification

Loew, 1862: 8
  • Blepharicerinae
  • Edwardsininae


Larva of Blepharicera
Blepharicera Ventral Side
Larva of Blepharicera, ventral
  • Subfamily Blepharicerinae
    • Tribe Blepharicerini
      • genus Agathon Rodor, 1890
        • species Agathon arizonica (Alexander, 1958)
        • species Agathon aylmeri (Garrett, 1923)
        • species Agathon comstocki (Kellogg, 1903)
        • species Agathon dismalea (Hogue, 1970)
        • species Agathon doanei (Kellogg, 1900)
        • species Agathon elegantulus Roder, 1890
        • species Agathon markii (Garrett, 1925)
        • species Agathon sequoiarum (Alexander, 1952)
      • genus Bibiocephala
      • genus Blepharicera Macquart, 1843
        • species Blepharicera appalachiae Hogue and Georgian, 1986
        • species Blepharicera capitata (Loew, 1863)
        • species Blepharicera cherokea Hogue, 1978
        • species Blepharicera coweetae Hogue and Georgian, 1985
        • species Blepharicera diminutiva Hogue, 1978
        • species Blepharicera jordani (Kellogg, 1903)
        • species Blepharicera micheneri (Alexander, 1959)
        • species Blepharicera ostensackeni Kellogg, 1903
        • species Blepharicera similans (Johannsen, 1929)
        • species Blepharicera tenuipes (Walker, 1848)
        • species Blepharicera williamsae (Alexander, 1953)
        • species Blepharicera zionensis (Alexander, 1953)
      • genus Philorus
        • species Philorus californicus Hogue, 1966
        • species Philorus jacinto Hogue, 1966
        • species Philorus vanduzeei Alexander, 1963
        • species Philorus yosemite (Osten Sacken, 1877)
  • Subfamily Edwardsininae


Loew H. 1862. Monographs of the Diptera of North America. Part 1. Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collection 6(1): 1-221, fig. 1-3+1-12, 2 pls.

External links

Agathon (fly)

Agathon is a genus of net-winged midges in the family Blephariceridae. There are about 19 described species in Agathon.

Agathon comstocki

Agathon comstocki is a species of net-winged midges in the family Blephariceridae.


Bibiocephala is a genus of net-winged midges in the family Blephariceridae. There are about five described species in Bibiocephala.

Bibiocephala grandis

Bibiocephala grandis is a species of net-winged midges in the family Blephariceridae.


The Blephariceromorpha are an infraorder of nematoceran flies, including three families associated with fast-flowing, high-mountain streams, where the larvae can be found.

One recent classification based largely on fossils splits this group into two infraorders, and removes the Nymphomyiidae to its own suborder, but this has not gained wide acceptance. More recently, the family Blephariceridae has been considered a member of the infraorder Psychodomorpha, with Deuterophlebiidae and Nymphomyiidae either assigned their own infraorders or left unassigned to infraorder. The placement of these three families remains controversial.


Calyptratae is a subsection of Schizophora in the insect order Diptera, commonly referred to as the calyptrate muscoids (or simply calyptrates). It consists of those flies which possess a calypter that covers the halteres, among which are some of the most familiar of all flies, such as the house fly.

About 18,000 described species are in this group, or about 12% of all the flies yet described.


The Chironomoidea are a superfamily within the order Diptera, suborder Nematocera, infraorder Culicomorpha. This superfamily contains the families Chironomidae, Ceratopogonidae, Simuliidae, and Thaumaleidae. One of the more important characteristics used to define them is the form of the larval mouthparts.


The Culicomorpha are an infraorder of Nematocera, including mosquitoes, black flies, and several extant and extinct families of insects.


Edwardsina is a genus of flies in family Blephariceridae.

Edwardsina gigantea

Edwardsina gigantea or the giant torrent midge is a species of fly in family Blephariceridae. It is endemic to Australia.

Edwardsina tasmaniensis

Edwardsina tasmaniensis or the Tasmanian torrent midge is a species of fly in family Blephariceridae. It is endemic to Australia. As their name suggests, they make their homes in the fastest-flowing parts of rivers and streams of Tasmania.


The Lauxanioidea are a superfamily of flies that includes the two large families, the Lauxaniidae and Chamaemyiidae, and the small family Celyphidae. Generally, they are small to medium, densely populated, coloured flies. The Chamaemyiidae and Cremifaniidae live as parasites on insects. The family Celyphidae look like beetles.

Some authors also recognize the family Cremifaniidae, but most place this in the Chamaemyiidae.


Midge is a term used to refer to many species of small flies. The term "midge" does not define any particular taxonomic group, but includes species in several families of non-mosquito Nematoceran Diptera. They are found (seasonally or otherwise) on practically every land area outside permanently arid deserts and the frigid zones. Some midges, such as many Phlebotominae (sand fly) and Simuliidae (black fly), are vectors of various diseases. Many others play useful roles as prey items for insectivores, such as various frogs and swallows. Others are important as detritivores, participating in various nutrient cycles. The habits of midges vary greatly from species to species, though within any particular family, midges commonly have similar ecological roles.

Examples of families that include species of midges include:

Blephariceridae, net-winged midges

Cecidomyiidae, gall midges

Ceratopogonidae, biting midges (also known as no-see-ums or punkies in North America, and sandflies in Australia)

Chaoboridae, phantom midges

Chironomidae, non-biting midges (also known as muckleheads or muffleheads in the Great Lakes region of North America)

Deuterophlebiidae, mountain midges

Dixidae, meniscus midges

Scatopsidae, dung midges

Theumaleidae, solitary midges


Muscoidea is a superfamily of flies in the subsection Calyptratae. Muscoidea, with approximately 7000 described species, is nearly 5% of the known species level diversity of the Diptera, the true flies. Most muscoid flies are saprophagous, coprophagous or necrophagous as larvae, but some species are parasitic, predatory, or phytophagous.


The Nematocera (the name means "thread-horns") are a suborder of elongated flies with thin, segmented antennae and mostly aquatic larvae. Major families in the suborder include the mosquitoes, crane flies, gnats, black flies, and a group of families described as midges.

The Nematocera typically have fairly long, fine, finely-jointed antennae. In this they differ from the most familiar flies, the suborder Brachycera (the name means "short-horns"), which includes the house flies, blow flies and many similar flies; Brachycera generally have short, stubby antennae. In many species, such as most mosquitoes, the female antennae are more or less threadlike, but the males have spectacularly plumose antennae.

The larvae of most families of Nematocera are aquatic, either free-swimming, rock-dwelling, plant-dwelling, or luticolous. Some families however, are not aquatic; for instance the Tipulidae tend to be soil-dwelling and the Mycetophilidae feed on fungi such as mushrooms. Unlike most of the Brachycera, the larvae of Nematocera have distinct heads with mouthparts that may be modified for filter feeding or chewing, depending on their lifestyles.

The pupae are orthorrhaphous which means that adults emerge from the pupa through a straight, longitudinal seam in the dorsal surface of the pupal cuticle.

The bodies and legs of most adult Nematocera are elongated, and many species have relatively long abdomens.

Males of many species form mating swarms like faint pillars of smoke, competing for females that visit the cloud of males to find a mate.


Oestroidea is a superfamily of Calyptratae including the blow flies, bot flies, flesh flies, and their relatives.The superfamily includes the families:


Mesembrinellidae (formerly included in Calliphoridae)



Rhiniidae (formerly included in Calliphoridae)






Superfamily Tabanoidea are insects in the order Diptera.


The Tephritoidea are a superfamily of flies. The following families are included:

Pallopteridae — flutter flies

Piophilidae — skippers

Platystomatidae — signal flies



Tephritidae — fruit flies

Ulidiidae (Otitidae) — picture-winged fliesThe Tachiniscinae, formerly ranked as the family Tachiniscidae, are now included in the Tephritidae.


The Tipulomorpha are an infraorder of Nematocera, containing the crane flies, a very large group, and allied families.

One recent classification based largely on fossils splits this group into a series of extinct superfamilies (below), and includes members of other infraorders, but this has not gained wide acceptance.

Extant Diptera families


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