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.

Chironomus plumosus01
Male Chironomus plumosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Nematocera
Infraorder: Culicomorpha
Superfamily: Chironomoidea


  • Hennig, W. 1981. Insect Phylogeny. New York: Wiley.
  • Yeates, D.K. and B.M. Wiegmann. 1999. Congruence and controversy: toward a higher-level phylogeny of Diptera. Annual Review of Entomology, 44: 397-428.

Alluaudomyia is a genus of predaceous midges in the family Ceratopogonidae. There are at least 180 described species in Alluaudomyia.


Atrichopogon is a genus of biting midges, small flies in the family Ceratopogonidae.

Some Atrichopogon (and Forcipomyia) species are ectoparasites on larger insects.


Austrosimulium is a genus of 31 species of black flies that are distributed in Australia and New Zealand. There are 2 subgenera: Austrosimulium whose species are principally from New Zealand, and Novaustrosimulium which are exclusively Australian. Austrosimulium is a sister genus to the monospecific Paraustrosimulium of South America.Some species are known to spread the protozoan blood parasite Leucocytozoon tawaki in penguins.In New Zealand, where they are known as sandflies, three species – A. australense, A. tillyardianum and A. ungulatum – bite humans.


Bezzia is a genus of biting midges in the family Ceratopogonidae. There are at least 300 described species in Bezzia.


Ceratopogonini is a tribe of biting midges.


Culicoides is a genus of biting midges in the family Ceratopogonidae. There are over 1000 species in the genus, which is divided into many subgenera. Several species are known to be vectors of various diseases and parasites which can affect animals.


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


Forcipomyia is a genus of biting midges in the subfamily Forcipomyiinae. Species of the subgenus Lasiohelea suck vertebrate blood. Some species are ectoparasites on larger insects. Other species in the genus are important pollinators of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao). There are at least 1,000 described species in Forcipomyia.

Highland midge

The highland midge (scientific name: Culicoides impunctatus; Scots: Midgie; Scottish Gaelic: Meanbh-chuileag) is a species of small flying insect, found across the Palearctic (throughout the British Isles, Scandinavia, other regions of Northern Europe, Russia and Northern China) in upland and lowland areas (fens, bogs and marshes). In the north west of Scotland and northern Wales the highland midge is usually very prevalent from late spring to late summer. Female highland midges are well known for gathering in clouds and biting humans, though the majority of the blood they obtain comes from cattle, sheep and deer. The bite of Culicoides is felt as a sharp prick. It is often followed by irritating lumps that may disappear in a few hours or last for days, depending on the individual.

Following Scotland's exceptionally cold winter in the early part of 2010, scientists found that the prolonged freezing conditions, rather than reducing the following summer's midge population in the Scottish Highlands, in fact increased it as the cold weather had reduced the numbers of its natural predators, such as bats and birds.


Leptoconops (black gnat) is a midge genus in the family Ceratopogonidae. It has a mostly tropical or subtropical distribution worldwide, but some species occur as far north as Moscow region in Russia and the Yukon Territory in Canada.This genus is relictual, having had a pantropical distribution during the Cretaceous. The presence of Leptoconops, along with Austroconops, in ancient Lebanese amber makes these the earliest existing lineages of biting midges. Extinct species have also been described from amber from Siberia, New Jersey, Canada, Hungary, Sakhalin, France, and Spain.Adult Leptoconops females are diurnal feeders, and suck vertebrate blood. Adults of both sexes in some species rest by burying themselves in sand. Larvae feed on algae, fungi, and bacteria. They burrow in moist, usually saline, sand or mud of desert areas and coastal and inland beaches.

Leptoconops albiventris

Leptoconops albiventris, the white nono, nono blanc des plages or nono purutia, is a midge species in the genus Leptoconops found in French Polynesia. It has been introduced accidentally in the Marquesas archipelago in 1914.


Mallochohelea is a genus of biting midges in the family Ceratopogonidae. There are at least 40 described species in Mallochohelea.


Parasimulium is a genus of black flies containing two subgenera and four species. They are found in western North America. Most species are rare, and some Canadian species are cave dwellers.


Prosimuliini is a tribe of black flies. It contains over 140

living species, with more than a half of them in the genus Prosimulium. There are 6 living genera, and 2 genera that are only known from Cretaceous fossils.


Serromyia is a genus of biting midges in the subfamily Ceratopogoninae.


Simuliinae is a subfamily of black flies (Simuliidae). It contains over 2,200 species, with over 1,800 of them in the genus Simulium. There are 2 tribes and 25 living genera. A further 5 genera are known only from Cretaceous fossils.


The Simuliini is a tribe of black flies that contains over 2,000 species, with more than 1,800 in the genus Simulium. There are 19 living genera, and three genera only known from Cretaceous fossils.


Simulium is a genus of black flies, which may transmit diseases such as onchocerciasis (river blindness). It is a large genus with several hundred species, and 41 subgenera.The flies are pool feeders. Their saliva, which contains anticoagulants, a number of enzymes and histamine, is mixed with the blood, preventing clotting until it is ingested by the fly. These bites cause localized tissue damage, and if the number of feeding flies is sufficient, their feeding may produce a blood-loss anaemia.

The host's reaction to fly attacks may include systemic illness, allergic reactions or even death, presumably mediated by histamine. In humans, this systemic reaction is known as "black fly fever" and is characterized by headaches, fever, nausea, adenitis, generalized dermatitis, and allergic asthma.


Stilobezzia is a genus of predaceous midges in the family Ceratopogonidae. There are at least 320 described species in Stilobezzia.

Extant Diptera families


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