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)
with ~150 spp. being the largest genus) and ~6000 described extant spp. in 113 genera worldwide(2)
Subfamily Dasyheleinae with only one genus Dasyhelea
Subfamily Leptoconopinae, with 23 spp. in a single genus in our area(3)
and >160 spp. in 2 genera worldwide (all but 2 spp. are in the genus Leptoconops
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.
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