DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Biting midge (Culicoides nubeculosus). Midge head. Culicoides is a genus of biting midges in the family Ceratopogonidae. Biting midges are a family of small flies belonging to the order Diptera (flies). They are also known as midges, sand flies, gnats, no-see-ums or punkies in North America. They are closely related to the insect families: Chironomidae, Simuliidae (or black flies), and Thaumaleidae. They are found in almost any aquatic or semi-aquatic habitats throughout the world, as well as in mountain areas. Midges breed in stagnant freshwater and can generate large seasonal swarms that are a nuisance. Females of most species are adapted to suck blood from animals. Several species are known to be vectors of various diseases and parasites which can affect animals. Magnification: x12 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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