VCSU Macro-Invertabrate Lab
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Order Diptera - The Black Flies
Distinguishing characteristics - Simuliidae have fanlike mouth brushes (Fig. B). The prothorax has a ventral median proleg (Fig. C), a feature shared by many midge larvae (Family Chironomidae). However, the midges do not have the mouth brushes (Fig. B). The abdomen is usually swollen posteriorly (Fig. D) with the posterior segment of abdomen ending with a ring or circlet of radiating rows of minute hooks (Fig. E).

Tolerance Value - 6

Feeding Group - Filterer

Notes - In their natural habitat, black fly larvae are small wormlike larvae that usually have their posterior end attached to an object and the head end waving in the current of the flowing water. They are usually found in fairly dense patches of many larvae. The female adults of some species are nasty biting insects sometimes given the common name of "Buffalo gnats". They are small little flies that can cause a lot of discomfort. The size of the black fly larvae at maturity is 3-8 mm and sometimes exceeding 12 mm.

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