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Genus Chironomus

Midge IMG_0158 - Chironomus - male Found relaxing by the river - Chironomus ochreatus - male Midge IMG_5787 - Chironomus - male Midge IMG_5787 - Chironomus - male midge - Chironomus - male Chironomidae, head & thorax - Chironomus - female Midge on a fence - Chironomus - male Brown midge with green legs and halteres - Chironomus - 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 Chironomidae (Midges)
Subfamily Chironominae
Tribe Chironomini
No Taxon (Chironomus group)
Genus Chironomus
Other Common Names
midges, lake flies
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Tendipes Meigen 1800 (suppressed in favor of 1803 name)
Chironomus Meigen 1803
Explanation of Names
Author is Meigen, 1803. Cheironomos (Χειρονομος), is Greek for "one who moves the hands", referring to the front legs, which, at rest, are often raised and vibrated (1).
Four subgenera: Chironomus s.s., Chaetolabis, Camptochironomus, Lobochironomus. About 90 species, most in subgenus Chironomus, many of them undescribed. See list by Martin in Internet References section.
5-13mm, the largest of midges
The genus is defined by features that are hard to see in photographs. Some of the more visible features of the genus are the shape of the pronotum, wide in the middle with a notch; a pair of small tubercles between and above the antenna bases (usually); 11-segmented male flagellum; and inferior volsella of male genitalia large and larger than superior. Each of these features is also found in some related genera.
The larva is red, and typically has tubes on the side or bottom of the eighth abdominal segment. Again, these characters are not sufficient on their own.
Members of this genus are wide spread across North America
"Larvae are usually found in sediments, and can occur in highly polluted conditions or in relatively clean water. Larvae of the Ch. decorus group, Ch. riparius and Ch. stigmaterus are most often associated with high nutrient/low oxygen conditions."(2)
Print References
Borror, entries for chir, -o, chironomus (3)
Internet References
The Chironomid Homepage - Ethan Bright (U. of Mich., Ann Arbor)