Scientific name Nematocera
Higher classification Fly
|Lower classifications mosquito, Crane fly, Black fly, Non‑biting midges, Sandflies|
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.