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Midge facts for kids

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A biting midge feeding on blood through an artificial membrane for insect rearing
Scientific classification
Ceratopogonidae midge sucking Sphodromantis blood IMG 3045ss
A midge in the family Ceratopogonidae sitting on the leg joint of a feeding mantis and sucking its blood

Midge is a common term for many types of small fly. They are all in a suborder, the Nematocera.

They are found on practically every land area except permanently dry deserts and the frozen zones. Some midges, such as many Phlebotominae (sand fly) and Simuliidae (black fly), are vectors of various diseases. Others are prey items for insectivores, such as various frogs and swallows.

The highland midge of Scotland (Culicoides impunctatus) is present in huge numbers. It is a significant blood-sucking pest. It is found in upland and lowland areas (fens, bogs and marshes) especially in the north west of Scotland from late spring to late summer.

The habits of midges vary greatly from species to species, though within any particular family midges commonly have similar ecological roles. Examples of families which include midges are:

  • Blephariceridae, net-winged midges
  • Cecidomyiidae, gall midges
  • Ceratopogonidae, biting midges
also known as no-see-ums or punkies in North America, and sandflies in Australia.
  • Chaoboridae, phantom midges
  • Chironomidae, non-biting midges
also known as muffleheads in the Great Lakes region of North America
  • Deuterophlebiidae, mountain midges
  • Dixidae, meniscus midges
  • Scatopsidae, dung midges
  • Thaumaleidae, solitary midges
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