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FLYING INSECT
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Flying Insect

Physiology of Midges
Biting Midges belong to the family Ceratopogonidae, over 60 genera in the world and approximately 55,000 species.  Also there are more than 1,000 known species in China.  Austroconops, Lasiohelea, Leptoconops and the main Culicoides, four genera feed on blood of vertebrates including humans.

Biting Midges lay eggs on wet soil or mud, especially on decaying plant materials which are food source for the larvae.   The larvae are aquatic or semi-aquatic, live in both fresh and salt water.  Tree holes, semi-rotting vegetation and decayed plants are suitable sites for biting midges breeding.

Adult midges are about 1-4mm in length, dark body in color, like to rest in dense vegetation or shelter areas.  They fly in different range, mainly within 100m from their breeding place.  Despite of their short flight, spread by wind is possible.  Strong wind (over 5.6 km/hour) and low temperature (below 10oC) will obstruct biting midges flying.  Biting midges are fragile insect, cool and dry weather will shorten their lives.

Adults usually emerge in the summer and causing serious nuisance to many.  Only female adults bite for extra nutrition needed for her maturation of eggs.  Biting midges attack humans, mostly in day time, or near dawn and sunset.  With the short mouth, female midges are unable to bite through clothes, and they rarely bite. 

Effects of Biting Midges Bites
To most people, bites of biting midges will immediately cause skin irritation and discomfort; irritation will last for several days to weeks.  Scratching will aggravate the itch, and may cause bacterial infection and slow healing of wounds.

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