Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Biting midge ( Ceratopogonidae : Ceratopogonidae )

Diagnostic features

The most common ceratopogonid larvae occurring in fresh waters are probably often overlooked because they are small and needle-like, with a relatively inconspicuous non-retractile head and no prolegs. With some magnification it is often possible to see a rosette of hairs at the tip of the tail.

Typical habitats

Ceratopogonid larvae are found in soft bottom and hard bottom streams, but only in a minority of samples, and usually in low abundance.


We suspect the larvae are predators as in overseas species.

Indicator value

Ceratopogonid larvae are found in streams with moderate to good water quality. They have low to mid range tolerance values of 3 (hard bottom sites) and 6.2 (soft bottom sites).