Metriocnemus knabi

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Metriocnemus knabi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Nematocera
Infraorder: Culicomorpha
Superfamily: Chironomoidea
Family: Chironomidae
Subfamily: Orthocladiinae
Genus: Metriocnemus
Species: M. knabi
Binomial name
Metriocnemus knabi
Coquillett, 1904

Metriocnemus knabi, the pitcher plant midge, is an inquiline invertebrate found only in the phytotelma of the purple pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea. In this microcommunity of bacteria, rotifers, protozoa, and other dipteran larva like Wyeomyia smithii, M. knabi specializes by feeding mostly on the carcasses of drowned insects captured by the plant that collect at the bottom of the pitcher.[1][2]


  1. ^ Heard, S. B. (1994). Pitcher-plant midges and mosquitoes: a processing chain commensalism. Ecology, 75(6): 1647-1660.
  2. ^ Mouquet, N., Daufresne, T., Gray, S. M., and Miller, T. E. (2008). Modelling the relationship between a pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) and its phytotelma community: mutualism or parasitism? Functional Ecology, 22: 728-737.