Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Biting midge ( Ceratopogonidae : Forcipomyiinae )

Diagnostic features

The Forcipomyiinae is a subfamily of the Ceratopogonidae, with larvae that look very different to other freshwater ceratopogonids. Forcipomyid larvae have paired prolegs at the head and tail ends of the body, distinctive snout-like heads and prominent setae protruding from the abdomen. They do not have the thin needle-like body form of other ceratopogonids.

Typical habitats

Forcipomyids are so infrequently recorded in stream samples that we know little about their habitat preferences.


New Zealand specimens have been found to have ingested streambed algae and plant detritus.

Indicator value

We know little about the water quality preferences of forcipomyids due to their relatively rare occurrence in stream samples. They have not been assigned tolerance values, but the ceratopogonid family values are 3 (hard bottom sites) and 6.2 (soft bottom sites).