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Chironomidae wing veins - Chironomus - female

Chironomidae wing veins - Chironomus - Female
Newton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
April 26, 2008
Size: 6mm
Given that this is a midge found in North America with only fresh water around, the wing veins show it to belong to subfamily Chironominae or Orthocladiinae ((1) pp. 53 et seq.). The legs, sold separately, are necessary to complete the identification.

The dark mass in the center of the wing connects the R veins with the M vein. Note that there is no crossvein between M and Cu; they remain separate for almost the entire length of the wing.

Keys to Chironomidae ask three main questions about the wings:

1. Is the M-Cu crossvein present?

2. Are there three R branches or two with no room between them for a third, or are there two widely separated branches?

3. If the M-Cu crossvein is present, where does it connect relative to the fork in Cu?

In North America if the answer to question 1 is "no" the midge belongs to subfamily Chironominae, Orthocladiinae, or Telmatogetoninae. The last subfamily is purely marine in the continental US with larva growing in algae along the seashore; formally, R vein branching is used in males and genital characters in females to distinguish it from other midges lacking the M-Cu crossvein.

Images of this individual: tag all
Midge - Chironomus - female Midge head - Chironomus - female Chironomidae wing veins - Chironomus - female Chironominae legs - Chironomus - female

Moved from decorus-like.

Moved from Chironomus.

Moved from Chironominae.

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