SPINELLI Gustavo Ricardo
AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY IN LATIN AMERICA: NEOTROPICAL CERATOPOGONIDAE (DIPTERA: INSECTA)
BORKENT A; SPINELLI GR
Lugar: Sofia; Año: 2007 p. 198
The Ceratopogonidae are commonly known as biting midges, no-see-ums or punkies, in Spanish as manta blanca, polvorines, or jejenes (which also may refer to Simuliidae), and in Portuguese as maruim or mosquito pólvora. They have a bad reputation as being nasty biters that pester humans and domestic animals and, in some instances, transmit harmful diseases. Because of their small size, the females of some species can pass through screen and mesh that keeps other biting pests outside and these can make life insufferable. Biting midges may occur in such huge numbers that in some areas people are driven indoors (or complain loudly and then suffer numerous itchy bites!). Few people, however, realize that this group of flies provides important services in a wide array of ecosystems. Some species are important pollinators of such plants as cacao (without them we wouldn?t enjoy chocolate!) and rubber trees, and the larvae of many are important predators of other organisms in semiaquatic and aquatic habitats. The adults of most biting midges actually suck blood from other insects and may even be important vectors of viruses that kill caterpillars. The biting midges are a diverse group in both numbers of species and in their habits and there are some intriguing stories associated with the way they obtain their food, mate and the kinds of different habitats they occupy. This contribution provides the basis for understanding the family in the Neotropical Region, allows for their identification to the generic level, gives a synopsis of each genus, details some aspects of their behaviour and ecology, discusses various collecting and preparation techniques, and provides a catalog of the Neotropical species.