Common Name: Biting Midge, Sand Flies or Punkies
Length: 3 mm or less
Range: Throughout Alberta
Time of year seen: Spring
Larva's Diet: Plant material (algae, fungi, or
fungal spores) or carnivorous.
Other: There are 100's of species of Biting
Midges in Canada. They are widespread, being present from coast to coast and
up into the arctic. The majority are not considered to be pests.
Biting Midge have a wide range of dietary preferences, with individual
species sucking blood from mammals, birds or amphibians, while other species
are ectoparasites on other insects, predaceous or pollen consumers. In
the blood sucking species, only the females attack other creatures in search
of blood while the males are strictly sugar eaters (i.e. nectar).
Biting Midges are typically less then 3mm in length. The larva range from
aquatic to semi-aquatic and are typically snakelike in morphology. The
carnivorous ones attack other insect larva by boring into them headfirst. (Borror
et al, 1970 & Agriculture Canada Website)