AskDefine | Define midge

Dictionary Definition

midge n : minute two-winged mosquito-like fly lacking biting mouthparts; appear in dancing swarms especially near water

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /mɪdʒ/, /mIdZ/
  • Rhymes: -ɪdʒ


  1. Any of various small two-winged flies, for example, from the family Chironomidae or non-biting midges, the family Chaoboridae or phantom midges, and the family Ceratopogonidae or biting midges, all belonging to the order Diptera.
fly of family Chironomidae or Ceratopogonidae

Extensive Definition

Midges comprise many kinds of very small two-winged flies. The term does not encapsulate a well-defined taxonomic group, but includes animals in several families of Nematoceran Diptera. The habits of midges vary greatly among the component families, which include:
While the Ceratopogonidae (biting midges) are serious biting pests, and can spread the livestock disease Blue Tongue, the other midge families are not. Most midges, apart from the gall midges (Cecidomyiidae), are aquatic during the larval stage. Some Cecidomyiidae (e.g., the sorghum midge) are important plant pests. The larvae of some Chironomidae contain haemoglobin and are sometimes referred to as bloodworms.
For further information concerning specific groups, consult their entries.


See also

midge in German: Gnitzen
midge in Dutch: Knut (insect)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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