Subject: Curious about bug in rural area
Location: Thornton, CO; rural
May 5, 2017 6:08 pm
Hi! We get these particular bugs around our house every year and my husband thinks they’re mosquitos but I think they are more related to something like a silverfish. We live near an alfalfa farm, horses and water in Colorado. We would appreciate your help on our debate!
Signature: Lori G
While you are both incorrect, your husband is actually closer in his identification. This is a male Midge in the family Chironomidae, and Midges are classified together with Mosquitoes in the infraorder Culicomorpha. Here is a similar looking BugGuide image. According to BugGuide, they are called: “Non-biting Midges, Blind Mosquitoes, Common Midges” and they are described as “Small, delicate flies, resemble mosquitoes but do not bite. Often “dance” in the air in large swarms over water or lawns. At rest, characteristically hold their front legs above head-height and extended forward, giving the illusion of elongate antennae to the untrained eye. Other family characters wings long and narrow, without scales (wings of mosquitoes have scales) males have long, feathery (plumose) antennae … .” If you have standing water near you home, you might have seen their aquatic larvae known as Bloodworms. BugGuide also notes: “The haemolymph of the red Chironomus larvae, called “bloodworms,” contains hemoglobin, unusual for insects. Larvae are often very abundant and are an important food item for many freshwater fish and other aquatic animals.” Several weeks ago we shot a poor quality image of Dancing Midges and we have not had a chance to post it yet.