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

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Family Ceratopogonidae - Biting Midges

Fly Midge ? - Atrichopogon - female biting midge - Clinohelea bimaculata - female Ceratopogonid - Heteromyia prattii - female Diptera - Forcipomyia - female Alluaudomyia ? - Alluaudomyia bella Biting Midge - Forcipomyia - female unknown Ceratopogonid
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 Ceratopogonidae (Biting Midges)
Other Common Names
Punkies, No-see-ums
Explanation of Names
Ceratopogon: Greek keratos 'horn' + pogon 'beard' (a reference to hairy male antennae?)
4 subfamilies, with 603 species in 39 genera in our area(1) (Culicoides with ~150 spp. being the largest genus) and ~6000 described extant spp. in 113 genera worldwide(2)
Generally 1 to 3 mm
Ocelli absent. Radial branches prominent. M usually with two branches. Similar to midges (Chironomidae) but stouter, with shorter legs, broader wings and well-developed proboscis. Wings usually held flat over back at rest (except some Stilobezzia). Flagellum typically 13-segmented with last several segments often moderately elongated (vs. only last segment moderately to extremely elongated in Chironomidae).
Larvae can be distinguished from most Chironomidae by presence of strong tubercles on body (Forcipomyiinae) or absence of thoracic prolegs (other subfamilies).
Worldwide and throughout NA(2)
Salt and freshwater marshes, forests, edges of ponds and streams; larvae in moist/wet sand, mud, or decaying vegetation; a few occur under bark of rotting trees
Adults most prevalent in Jun-Jul
Adult females suck blood from other insects, reptiles, and mammals (including humans), but also feed on flower nectar or other sugar source. Females of some species have atrophied mouthparts, and probably don't suck blood. All males feed only on sugars.
Many species, mostly in Culicoides, bite humans and can be very annoying. A few are ectoparasites of other insects. Some transmit diseases.
Print References
Borkent A. (2014) The pupae of the biting midges of the World (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), with a generic key and analysis of the phylogenetic relationships between genera. Zootaxa 3879
Internet References