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Biting midge (Ceratopogonidae)

Taxonomic group

Family: 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

  • Hard bottom: 3
  • Soft bottom: 6.2

The tolerance values (ranging from 0 to 10) give an indication of which are the sensitive taxa (values of 8 or more) and which are the tolerant taxa (values of 3 or less). For more information see: Indicator species

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).