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Aedes aegypti.jpg
Aedes aegypti, a disease-carrying mosquito
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Nematocera
Latreille, 1825


The Nematocera (thread-horns) are a suborder of elongated flies with thin, segmented antennae and mostly aquatic larvae, consisting of the mosquitoes, crane flies, gnats, black flies, and midges.

Nematocera are typically characterized by filamentous, multisegmented antennae which may be plumose in some males.

Examples of the Nematocera include the mosquitoes (Culicidae), crane flies (Tipulidae) and black flies (Simuliidae). Many of the remaining families (especially Mycetophilidae, Anisopodidae, and Sciaridae), are called gnats, while others (especially Chironomidae, Cecidomyiidae, and Ceratopogonidae) are called midges.

The larvae are mostly aquatic and have distinct heads with mouthparts that may be modified for filter feeding. The pupae are orthorrhaphous (meaning adults emerge from the pupa through a straight seam in the pupal cuticle). The bodies and legs of the adults are usually elongate, and these flies often have relatively long abdomens.

Many species form mating swarms of males, and in some of these, competition for females is extreme. Although many species (as larvae) have a strong association with water, even within a single family there may be a trend toward semiaquatic and terrestrial habitats.



  • Borror, D. J., DeLong, D. M., Triplehorn, C. A.(1976) Fourth edition. An introduction to the study of insects. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. New York, Chicago. ISBN 0-03-088406-3
  • Arnett, R. H. Jr. (2000) Second edition. American insects. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Londres,New York, Washington, D. C. ISBN 0-8493-0212-9

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