midge

/mij/, n.
1. any of numerous minute dipterous insects, esp. of the family Chironomidae, somewhat resembling a mosquito. Cf. gnat (def. 1).
2. a tiny person.
[bef. 900; ME mygge, OE mycg(e); c. G Mücke, ON my; akin to Gk myîa, L musca fly]

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Any of a group of tiny dipterans, sometimes called gnats and classified as nonbiting (family Chironomidae), biting (family Ceratopogonidae), or gall (family Cecidomyiidae) midges.

Nonbiting midges resemble mosquitoes but are harmless. Humming swarms can be found around water in late afternoon. The often blood-red, aquatic larvae (bloodworms) are important food for aquatic animals. Biting midges (no-see-ums) are the smallest bloodsucking insect (about 0.04 in., or 1 mm, long). Punkies or sand flies (genera Culicoides and Leptoconops) attack humans but do not transmit disease; many species attack other insects. Gall-midge larvae cause tissue swellings (galls) in plants.

Midge (Chironomidae)

N.A. Callow/EB Inc.

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insect
also called  chironomid,  nonbiting midge,  or  gnat 
 any of a group of tiny two-winged flies (order Diptera) that superficially resemble mosquitoes. Although they resemble mosquitoes, midges are harmless, with small mouthparts that are not elongated into a piercing structure for blood feeding. They do not have scales on wings or body and the pattern of wing veins differs from that of mosquitoes. The male antennae are feathery. Midges are usually found around ponds or streams in late afternoon and evening in swarms that produce a humming sound. Midges may breed in water or manure or under tree bark.

      Midges are sometimes used in biotic indexes of water quality assessment. Their presence, when ephemeroptera (mayflies), plecoptera (stone flies), and trichoptera (caddis flies) are absent or rare, generally is considered an indication of poor water quality.

      The tiny wormlike aquatic larvae, soft-bodied and often bloodred, are commonly known as bloodworms (bloodworm). They are important food for aquatic animals, especially trout and young salmon. The nonbiting midge is related to the biting midge, which is in the family Cecidomyiidae (Itonididae); see gall midge.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Midge — Midge, n. [OE. migge, AS. mycge; akin to OS. muggia, D. mug, G. m[ u]cke, OHG. mucca, Icel. m?, Sw. mygga, mygg, Dan. myg; perh. named from its buzzing; cf. Gr. ? to low, bellow.] (Zo[ o]l.) [1913 Webster] 1. Any one of many small, delicate, long …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Midge — (englisch Mücke) steht für Midge Ure (* 1953), britischer Rock Gitarrist, Sänger und Songschreiber Folland Midge, ein Jagdflugzeug Prototyp des britischen Herstellers Folland Aircraft Limited Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • midge — (n.) O.E. mygg, mycg gnat, from P.Gmc. *mugjon (Cf. Swed. mygga, O.S. muggia, M.Du. mugghe, Du. mug, O.H.G. mucka, Ger. Mücke midge, gnat ). No certain cognates beyond Germanic, unless doubtful Armenian mun gnat and Albanian mize gnat a …   Etymology dictionary

  • midge — [mıdʒ] n [: Old English; Origin: mycg] a small flying insect that can bite people …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • midge — [ mıdʒ ] noun count a small fly that that bites people, and often lives near water …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • midge — ► NOUN 1) a small two winged fly that forms swarms near water, of which many kinds feed on blood. 2) informal a small person. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • midge — [mij] n. [ME migge < OE mycg, akin to Ger mücke < IE base * mu , echoic for fly, gnat > L musca, a fly] any of various families (esp. Chironomidae) of small, two winged, gnatlike dipteran insects, including the gall midges and biting… …   English World dictionary

  • Midge — For other uses, see Midge (disambiguation). Midges A biting midge feeding on blood through an artificial membrane for insect rearing Scientific classification …   Wikipedia

  • midge — mašalai statusas T sritis ekologija ir aplinkotyra apibrėžtis Dvisparnių būrio vabzdžių šeima (Simuliidae). Skiriama midge 500 rūšių (Lietuvoje midge 20). Paplitę visame pasaulyje. Kūnas 1,5–7 mm ilgio. Patinai minta augalų sultimis, patelės… …   Ekologijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • midge — The smallest of the biting flies, in the genus Culicoides; swarms may attack humans and other animals; vectors of filarial infections. [O.E. mycg] * * * midge mij n any of numerous tiny dipteran flies (esp. families Ceratopogonidae, Cecidomyiidae …   Medical dictionary

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