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Temporal range: Hauterivian–Holocene
Leptoconops spp. from CSIRO.jpg
Leptoconops sp.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Ceratopogonidae
Subfamily: Leptoconopinae
Genus: Leptoconops
Skuse, 1889

Mycterotypus Noè, 1905
Protersesthes Kieffer, 1921
Tersesthes Townsend, 1893
Schizoconops Kieffer,1918

Leptoconops (black gnat)[1] is a midge genus in the family Ceratopogonidae.[2] It has a mostly tropical or subtropical distribution worldwide,[3] but some species occur as far north as Moscow region in Russia and the Yukon Territory in Canada.[4]

This genus is relictual, having had a pantropical distribution during the Cretaceous.[5] The presence of Leptoconops, along with Austroconops, in ancient Lebanese amber makes these the earliest existing lineages of biting midges.[3] Extinct species have also been described from amber from Siberia, New Jersey, Canada, Hungary, Sakhalin, France,[4] and Spain.[6]

Adult Leptoconops females are diurnal feeders, and suck vertebrate blood. Adults of both sexes in some species rest by burying themselves in sand.[7] Larvae feed on algae, fungi, and bacteria. They burrow in moist, usually saline, sand or mud of desert areas and coastal and inland beaches.[3][4]


Leptoconops contains the following species:


  1. ^ a b c d Mazumdar, Abhijit; Saha, Narayan; Chaudhuri, Prasanta (21 September 2010). "Blood sucking midges of Leptoconops (Holoconops Kieffer) (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) from India". Zootaxa. 2619: 49–55. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.2619.1.5.
  2. ^ Borkent, Art; Wirth, Willis W (24 July 1997). "World Species of Biting Midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (233): 1.
  3. ^ a b c Choufani, J; Azar, D; Perrichot, V; et al. (December 2011). "The genus Leptoconops Skuse (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in Early Cretaceous Charentese amber". Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments. 91 (4): 285–291. doi:10.1007/s12549-011-0057-1.
  4. ^ a b c d Szadziewski, Ryszard; Arillo, Antonio (15 October 2003). "The oldest fossil record of the extant subgenus Leptoconops (Leptoconops)(Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)". Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia. 46: 271–275.
  5. ^ Szadziewski, R (May 2015). "A blood sucking biting midge from Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber with a key to the determination of fossil species in the relictual genus Leptoconops Skuse (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)". Cretaceous Research. 54: 255–259. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2014.12.013.
  6. ^ Arillo, Antonio; Penalver, Enrique; Delclos, Xavier (31 October 2008). "Microphorites (Diptera: Dolichopodidae) from the Lower Cretaceous amber of San Just (Spain), and the co-occurrence of two ceratopogonid species in Spanish amber deposits". Zootaxa. 1920: 29–40. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.1920.1.2.
  7. ^ a b c Borkent, Art (26 April 2001). "Leptoconops (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), the Earliest Extant Lineage of Biting Midge, Discovered in 120-122 Million-Year-Old Lebanese Amber". American Museum Novitates. 3328: 1–11. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2001)328<0001:ldctee>2.0.co;2. hdl:2246/2945.
  8. ^ a b c Szadziewski, Ryszard (23 July 2004). "Biting Midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) from Burmese Amber, Myanmar". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 2 (2): 115–121. doi:10.1017/s1477201904001178.
  9. ^ Choufanni, Joanna; Perrichot, Vincent; Azar, Dany; Nel, Andre (1 December 2014). "New Biting Midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in Late Cretaceous Vendean Amber". Paleontological Contributions. 10H.
  10. ^ Yu, Yixin (March 1997). "A New Species of Leptoconops Midge from Wudang Mountain, Hubei Province, China (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)". Entomologia Sinica. 4 (1): 56–58. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7917.1997.tb00072.x.
  11. ^ Poinar Jr., George (August 2008). "Leptoconops nosopheris sp. n. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) and Paleotrypanosoma burmanicus gen. n., sp. n. (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae), a biting midge--trypanosome vector association from the Early Cretaceous". Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. 103 (5): 468–71. doi:10.1590/s0074-02762008000500010.

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