Insects in Baker possibly identified as midges

   Recent swarms of insects in Baker might be identified as chironomus plumosus, also known as the buzzer midge, a species of non-biting midge.

An adult male midge is identified by long, feathery antennae.
An adult male midge is identified by long, feathery antennae.

By Lori Kesinger  

These non-biting midge flies often dance in the air in large swarms over water or lawns. Adults are pale green with brown legs and grow to half an inch. Males have feathery antennae while females’ antennae are sleek. There is a dark brown band at the end of each abdominal segment. At rest, they characteristically hold their front legs above head-height and extended forward, giving the illusion of elongate antennae to the untrained eye.

   Adult midges often emerge in extremely large numbers to mate and only cause minor nuisances for people who reside within the flight range of these insects. Adult midges do not feed so will live for only three to five days.

   Though similar, they should not be confused with mayflies which generally have compound eyes (eyes will dominate the head) and notably three hair-like long tails.

      



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