Biting Midge
Location: Calgary, AB
Date: May 14, 2005
       Photo 1

Biting Midge

Common Name:  Biting Midge, Sand Flies or Punkies

Latin Name:  Family Ceratopogonidae
                        (P. Beuk, det.)

Length:  3 mm or less

Range: Throughout Alberta

Habitat:  Various

Time of year seen:  Spring (Additional Sightings)

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)


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