VCSU Macro-Invertabrate Lab
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Order Diptera - The Phantom Midges
Distinguishing characteristics - Larvae of the phantom midges are sometimes called glassworms because of their transparent appearance when alive. They have distinctive prehensile antennae with long spinelike hairs (Fig. B). Their head is distinctly separated from thorax (Fig. B) with the thoracic segments fused and wider than the rest of the body (Fig. C). The terminal segment of abdomen has an anal fan (Fig. D).

Genus - Chaoborus

Tolerance Value - Undetermined

Feeding Group - Predator

Notes - The larvae of phantom midges are predaceous and feed on crustaceans and other small insects.. They are normally found in lakes, ponds, and small temporary pools. We have rarely collected them from slow moving areas of rivers.

Genus Chaoborus: Only one genus of Chaoboridae has been collected in North Dakota, the Chaoborus. These midges live in standing water, including in deeper areas of lakes and in temporary pools. They sprawl during daylight hours but swim at night. Chaoborus are predators and sometimes eat mosquito larvae. This genus has been around a long time – some of it’s members are found in fossils.

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