Polypedilum convictum, copyright Biodiversity Institute of Ontario.

Belongs within: Culicomorpha.
Contains: Tanytarsini, Chironomus, Orthocladiini.

The Chironomidae, commonly known as non-biting midges, are a morphologically diverse family of mostly small, delicate, superficially mosquito-like flies. Larvae of chironomids are most commonly aquatic, and the adults are also often found around water. Some species are marine, being found in the intertidal zone. Adults of most species have reduced mouthparts, but the relict Southern Hemisphere genus Archaeochlus retains biting mandibles (Colless & McAlpine 1991).

Characters (from Colless & McAlpine 1991): Ocelli absent; antennae usually plumose in male; mouthparts usually non-piercing. Wing veins clothed with abundant hair or scales, discal cell absent, M1+2 unbranched, radial veins usually longer, R4+5 usually ending near apex of wing, M3+4 forking from CuA at about centre of wing. Larvae usually with pair of prolegs on prothoracic and anal segments, and pair of papillae (each with a tuft of hairs) on anal segment.

<==Chironomidae [Dixamimidae, Rhaetomyidae, Tendipedidae]
    |--Ulaia [Ulaiinae] BLM02
    |--Tanypodinae BLM02
    |--Aenne GE05 [Aenneinae BLM02]
    |    `--A. triassica GE05
    |--Prodiamesa [Prodiamesinae] G09
    |    `--P. olivacea G09
    |--Aphroteniinae GE05
    |    |--Aphrotenia GE05
    |    `--+--Aphroteniella GE05
    |       `--Paraphrotenia GE05
    |--Diamesinae B87
    |    |  i. s.: Lobodiamesa campbelli B87
    |    |--Diamesae B72
    |    `--Heptagyini B72
    |         |--Maoridiamesia harrisi B72, B87
    |         `--Paraheptagyia tonnoiri B72
    |--Chironominae B87
    |    |  i. s.: Parachironomus A71
    |    |         Demeijerea A71
    |    |         Xenochironomus A71
    |    |         Microtendipes pedellus G09
    |    |--Tanytarsini G09
    |    `--Chironomini G09
    |         |--Chironomus B87
    |         `--Polypedilum G09
    |              |--P. albicorne G09
    |              |--P. convictum G09
    |              `--P. pullum G09
    |--Orthocladiinae B04
    |    |  i. s.: Naonella Boothroyd 1994 B04
    |    |           |--N. forsythi B04
    |    |           `--N. kimihia Boothroyd 2004 B04
    |    |         Cricotopus B87
    |    |           |--C. cingulatus B87
    |    |           |--C. trifasciatus R86
    |    |           `--C. zealandicus B87
    |    |         Heleniella ornaticollis G09
    |    |         Paratrichocladius skirwithensis G09
    |    |--Orthocladiini G09
    |    `--Parametriocnemus [Metriocnemini] G09
    |         `--P. stylatus G09
    `--Podonominae GE05
         |  i. s.: Oryctochlus BLM02
         |         Protobibio jurassicus B72
         |--Boreochlini GE05
         |    |--+--Lasiodiamesa GE05
         |    |  `--Trichotanypus GE05
         |    `--+--+--Boreochlus GE05
         |       |  `--Paraboreochlus GE05
         |       `--+--Archaeochlus GE05
         |          `--Afrochlus GE05
         `--Podonomini GE05
              |--+--Podochlus GE05
              |  `--+--Rheochlus GE05
              |     `--Podonomopsis GE05
              `--+--Zelandochlus GE05
                 `--+--Parochlus kiefferi GE05
                    `--Podonomus GE05

Chironomidae incertae sedis:
  Buchonomyia thienemanni Z02
  Chaetocladius piger R86
  Smittia R86
    |--S. foliacea R86
    `--S. verna M83
  Epoicocladius A71
  Symbiocladius A71
  Psectrocladius B04
  Riethia zeylandica ASD05
  Kiefferulus PS02
  Telmatogeton GE05
  Austrochlus GE05
  Oreadomyia GE05
  Pontomyia GE05
  Anatopynia R86
    |--A. debilis [=Tanypus debilis] R60
    `--A. plumipes R86
  Telopelopia fascigera R86
  Derotanypus sibirica R86
  Bryophaenocladius (Odontocladius) nigrus R86
  Euryhapsis subviridis R86
  Parakiefferiella R86
  Paraphaenocladius pseudirritus R86
  Pseudorthocladius filiformis R86
  Cryptochironomus obreptans R86
  Nilothauma brayi R86
  Corynocera ambigua R86
  Neostempellina thienemanni R86
  Stempellina bausei [incl. S. montivaga] R86
  Rheotanytarsus rhenanus R86
  Cladotanytarsus mancus D91
  Pseudosmittia T90
  Clunio marinus WP99
  Potomyia natans WP99
  Stichtochironomus histrio WP99
  Stichtotanytarsus WP99

*Type species of generic name indicated


[ASD05] Armstrong, K. N., A. W. Storey & P. M. Davies. 2005. Effects of catchment clearing and sedimentation on macroinvertebrate communities of cobble habitat in freshwater streams of southwestern Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 88 (1): 1-11.

[A71] Askew, R. R. 1971. Parasitic Insects. Heinemann Educational Books: London.

[BLM02] Blagoderov, V. A., E. D. Lukashevich & M. B. Mostovski. 2002. Order Diptera Linné, 1758. The true flies (=Muscida Laicharting, 1781). In History of Insects (A. P. Rasnitsyn & D. L. J. Quicke, eds) pp. 227-240. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

[B87] Boothroyd, I. K. G. 1987. Taxonomic composition and life cycles of Chironomidae (Diptera) in a northern New Zealand stream. Entomologica Scandinavica Supplement 29: 15-22.

[B04] Boothroyd, I. K. G. 2004. A new species of Naonella Boothroyd (Chironomidae: Orthocladiinae) from New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist 27: 11-15.

[B72] Brundin, L. 1972. Phylogenetics and biogeography. Systematic Zoology 21 (1): 69-79.

Colless, D. H., & D. K. McAlpine. 1991. Diptera. In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia, 2nd ed., vol. 2, pp. 717-786. Melbourne University Press.

[D91] Davids, C. 1991. Water mites: the impact of larvae and adults on their host and prey populations. In: Dusbábek, F. & V. Bukva (eds) Modern Acarology: Proceedings of the VIII International Congress of Acarology, held in České Budĕjovice, Czechoslovakia, 6–11 August 1990 vol. 1 pp. 497-501. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[G09] Gerecke, R. 2009. Revisional studies on the European species of the water mite genus Lebertia Neuman, 1880 (Acari: Hydrachnidia: Lebertiidae). Abhandlungen der Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung 566: 1-144.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[M83] Martin, N. A. 1983. Miscellaneous observations on a pasture fauna: An annotated species list. DSIR Entomology Division Report 3: 1-98.

[PS02] Palot, M. J., & V. P. Soniya. 2002. House crow Corvus splendens Vieillot feeding on midges. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99 (3): 533.

[R86] Reiss, F. 1986. Erster Nachtrag zur Chironomidenfauna Bayerns (Diptera, Chironomidae). Spixiana 9 (2): 175-178.

[R60] Richards, A. M. 1960. Observations on the New Zealand glow-worm Arachnocampa luminosa (Skuse) 1890. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 88 (3): 559-574.

[T90] Teskey, H. J. 1990. Insecta: Diptera larvae. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 1253-1276. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

[WP99] Walter, D. E. & H. C. Proctor. 1999. Mites: Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour. CABI Publishing: Wallingford (UK).

[Z02] Zherikhin, V. V. 2002. Ecological history of the terrestrial insects. In History of Insects (A. P. Rasnitsyn & D. L. J. Quicke, eds) pp. 331-388. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.


  1. There are nine subfamilies recognised, yet I see only six on your list. Where do you get your classification from?

  2. The sources for each are indicated alongside the names. So far, I've just gotten most of them from more general references on insects; presumably, I haven't yet gone through references that would give me the other three. Hence, also, the taxa listed as just general Chironomidae at the end, which presumably would be placed more specifically once I've found and taken info from an appropriate source.


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