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Chironomid midge (Podonominae)

Taxonomic group

Chironomidae: Podonominae

Diagnostic features

The Podonominae is a subfamily of chironomid midges. Like other chironomids the general body form is worm-like, but with a distinct head, and with paired prolegs under the head and at the end of the abdomen. Podonominae larvae tend to be small and pale or green. The rounded head often appears to be separated from the thorax by a long “neck” giving the appearance that the midge is attempting to extend its mouthparts forwards.

Typical habitats

Podonominae larvae are best known from South Island mountain streams.


Like most chironomids they are likely to be collector-gatherers feeding on fine organic matter including streambed algae.

Indicator value

  • Hard bottom: 8
  • Soft bottom: 6.4

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

Podonominae larvae are most commonly found in mountain streams with good water quality. They have tolerance values of 8 (hard bottom sites) and 6.4 (soft bottom sites).