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

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Nematocera
Infraorder: Culicomorpha
Hennig, 1948

See text for families.


Extant families

Extinct families

  • Asiochaoboridae (Upper Jurassic)
  • Architendipedidae (Upper Triassic)
  • Protendipedidae (Middle Jurassic)
  • Mesophantasmatidae (Middle Jurassic)

Araucnephia is a genus of South American black flies from Chile and Argentina. There are only 2 known species.


Araucnephioides is a genus of black flies from Chile. There is only one known species.


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.

Black fly

A black fly (sometimes called a buffalo gnat, turkey gnat, or white socks) is any member of the family Simuliidae of the Culicomorpha infraorder. They are related to the Ceratopogonidae, Chironomidae, and Thaumaleidae. Over 2,200 species of black flies have been formally named, of which 15 are extinct. They are divided into two subfamilies: Parasimuliinae contains only one genus and four species; Simuliinae contains all the rest. Over 1,800 of the species belong to the genus Simulium.Most black flies gain nourishment by feeding on the blood of mammals, including humans, although the males feed mainly on nectar. They are usually small, black or gray, with short legs, and antennae. They are a common nuisance for humans, and many U.S. states have programs to suppress the black fly population. They spread several diseases, including river blindness in Africa (Simulium damnosum and S. neavei) and the Americas (S. callidum and S. metallicum in Central America, S. ochraceum in Central and South America).


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.


Cnephia is a genus of 9 species of black flies. They are distributed in scattered locations across the Northern Hemisphere, from Ukraine to Eastern Siberia, and some parts of North America.


Cnesia is a genus of 4 species of black flies. They are distributed in Argentina and Chile.


Cricotopus is a genus of non-biting midges in the subfamily Orthocladiinae of the bloodworm family Chironomidae.


The Culicoidea are a superfamily within the order Diptera. The following families are included within the Culicoidea:

Dixidae – meniscus midges

Corethrellidae – frog-biting midges

Chaoboridae – phantom midges

Culicidae – mosquitoes


Demicryptochironomus is a genus of European non-biting midges in the subfamily Chironominae of the bloodworm family Chironomidae.


Dixella is a genus of meniscus midges in the family Dixidae. There are at least 60 described species in Dixella.


The Dixidae (meniscus midges) are a family of aquatic nematoceran flies (Diptera). The larvae live in unpolluted, standing fresh waters, just beneath the surface film, usually amongst marginal aquatic vegetation. They are found in all continents except Antarctica.


Ectemnia is a genus of 4 species of black flies. They are distributed in North America.


Glyptotendipes is a genus of non-biting midges in the subfamily Chironominae of the bloodworm family Chironomidae.


Limnophyes is a genus of non-biting midges belonging to the family Chironomidae.


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.


Stegopterna is a genus of black flies (insects in the family Simuliidae). There are about 15 described species in Stegopterna.


Thaumaleidae, the solitary midges or trickle midges, are a group of nematoceran flies related to the Ceratopogonidae, Chironomidae, and the Simuliidae. They are small, stocky, yellow to brown flies (3–4 mm). Very few species are known for this family (about 120 species in five genera). Larvae are found in films on rocks and the nonfeeding adults are usually found on foliage along the same streams in which the larvae are found. A few solitary midges are found in the Southern Hemisphere, but Thaumaleidae are generally an Holarctic family.


Usambaromyia nigrala is a species of African non-biting midges, and is the only species in the subfamily Usambaromyiinae.

Extant Diptera families


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