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Genus Chaoborus

Phantom Midge  - Chaoborus trivittatus Phantom Midge - Chaoborus punctipennis - male Phantom Midge - Chaoborus Mosquito ? - Chaoborus midge - Chaoborus - male Chaoborus - Chaoborus punctipennis - female From Small vernal pool - Chaoborus Chaoboridae, Phantom Midge, lateral - 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)
Genus Chaoborus
Explanation of Names
Author of genus is Lichtenstein, 1800.
See family account for origin of name.
Numbers lists 10 species, ITIS lists 11 species
3-10 mm
Larvae can be distinguished from other genera in the family by lack of siphon on 8th abdominal segment and pairs of air sacs in thorax and abdomen.
Adults are distinguished from most, not all, genera of Chaoboridae by having first segments of tarsi longer than second.
The larvae are predacious on zooplankton in lakes. [comment by Chris Borkent]
North American species are
Chaoborus s. str., species with unmarked wings and uniformly pale legs
Chaoborus americanus Johannsen 1903. A reddish brown species with unspotted wings, dark stripes on thorax, and yellowish abdomen. Utah and Tennessee north to Alaska.
Chaoborus crystallinus De Geer 1776. Similar to C. americanus; more gray in color.
Chaoborus flavicans Meigen 1830. A common species recognizable by the unspotted wings, pale color, and unmarked legs. Northern USA, Canada, Europe.

Chaoborus (Sayomyia), species with spots on wings and normally also on legs.
Chaoborus albatus Johnson 1921. A small Eastern species with spotted wings and unspotted legs.

Chaoborus astictopus Dyar and Shannon 1924. A less spotted western relative of (or variant of) punctipennis
Chaoborus festivus Dyar and Shannon 1924. Wing pattern differs from relatives.

Chaoborus maculipes Stone 1965. Paler, less spotted relative of punctipennis. Species name means "marked feet."

Chaoborus punctipennis Say 1823. A common species with strongly spotted wings and legs.

Chaoborus (Schadonophasma) Species with marked wings with black scales along the costa
Chaoborus cooki Saether 1970. Large, relatively dark, with spotted wings, lives in smaller and more temporary pools than C. trivittatus
Chaoborus trivittatus Loew 1862. Large, relatively dark, with spotted wings. Lives in larger, permanent lakes. Northern. (=? nyblaei)
Print References
Cook E. F. (1956). The Nearctic Chaoborinae (Diptera: Culicidae). Technical Bulletin of the Agriculture Experiment Station, University of Minnesota 218: 1-102.
Saether, O.A. (1970). Nearctic and Palearctic Chaoborus (Diptera: Chaoborida). Bull. Fish. Res. Board Can. 174: 1-57 (Full Text)
Internet References