DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of bloodworm head (Chironomus tetans). The aquatic larval stage of a midge. C. tetans is nonbiting midge in the bloodworm family Chironomidae. The Chironomidae are a family of nematoceran flies with a global distribution. Many species superficially resemble mosquitoes. The Chirononus larvae (called bloodworms) can reach relatively high densities. The bloodworm has an iron-porphyrin protein respiratory pigment (red) in its blood and tissue fluids which corresponds to haemoglobin in vertebrates. Males are easily recognized by their plumose antennae. Larval stages of the Chironomidae can be found in almost any aquatic or semiaquatic habitat including: treeholes, bromeliads, rotting vegetation, soil, and in sewage and artificial containers. The Chironomidae are important as indicator organisms. Magnification: x22 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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