Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


Family Chaoboridae - Phantom Midges

Phantom Midge - Chaoborus Phantom Midge larvae - Chaoborus Phantom Midge  - Chaoborus punctipennis - female spotted midge - Chaoborus punctipennis - male Chaoborus punctipennis, larva - Chaoborus punctipennis Larva - Eucorethra underwoodi Chaoborus punctipennis Female? - Chaoborus punctipennis - female Phantom Midge - Chaoborus - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Nematocera" (Non-Brachycera))
Infraorder Culicomorpha (Mosquitoes and Midges)
Family Chaoboridae (Phantom Midges)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Sometimes treated as part of Culicidae(1)
Explanation of Names
Chaoboridae Newman 1834
"Phantom" refers to the transparent aquatic larvae(2)
19 spp. in 5 genera in our area(2), ~90 spp. in 33 genera total(3)
1.5-10 mm
Resemble mosquitoes but lack a prominent proboscis. Other characters:
body and wing veins with elongated setae, not flat scales (mosquitoes have prominent scales); or perhaps a few scales along margin of wing(2)
lack ocelli
antenna setae in distinct whorls(2)
Larvae predatory, adults of most species (perhaps) do not feed. Adults of a few exotic spp. are said to take blood(1)
Life Cycle
Larvae are filter feeders or predators (using modified prehensile antennae) in shallow stagnant waters. Larvae of Chaoborus, at least, are nearly transparent and planktonic (living in water column), not associated with a substrate like most fly larvae(4). Mochlonyx larva:
Print References
Works Cited
1.A Dictionary of Entomology
George Gordh, David H. Headrick. 2003. CABI Publishing.
2.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
3.Order Diptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang Z.-Q. (ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification...
Pape T., Blagoderov V., Mostovski M.B. 2011. Zootaxa 3148: 222–229.
4.Insects: Their Natural History And Diversity: With a Photographic Guide to Insects of Eastern North America
Stephen A. Marshall. 2006. Firefly Books Ltd.