Checklist of Diptera of the Czech Republic and Slovakia
electronic version 2, 2009
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Chaoboridae Edwards, 1912

Ladislav Jedlička & Ivan Országh

Department of Zoology, Comenius University, Mlynská dolina, SK-84215 Bratislava, Slovakia;;

The phantom midges are small to medium-sized midges (adults 1.4-10.0 mm long) with a slender body. An elongate clypeus, enlarged prementum and mouthparts form a short rostrum; mandibles well sclerotized; labella well-developed; palps five-segmented. Antenna with 13 flagellomeres, plumed in males; compound eyes reniform, ocelli absent. Wing narrow, elongated, with culicid venation; veins with narrow scales or hairs, membrane with microtrichia. Legs long, stilt-like, with setae but without scales. Abdomen with eight pregenital segments, setose (without scales). Male: 9th tergite well developed, 9th sternite reduced, gonocoxite well developed, gonostylus slender. Female genitalia: well-developed 9th tergite, narrow sternite, gonopore in atrium between 8th and 9th segments, cerci setose, three seminal capsules. Larvae transparent, head capsule fully developed; antennae prehensile (in European genera), mandibles with spines, maxilla reduced to stipes and palpus, labium reduced; thorax enlarged, with fused segments; abdomen with 8 distinct segments, apneustic (Chaoborus) or metapneustic, the latter with spiracles at the top of a siphon; anal segment with 4 anal tubuli, a brush of setae and fan-like row of setae; terminal lobe with flattened processes and hooks. Pupa mosquito-like, cephalothorax nearly one-third of the body, with thoracic horns bearing a tracheal opening, abdomen pendulous; caudal end of pupa with a pair of articulated anal paddles. The larvae are aquatic, in lentic freshwater habitats ranging from temporary pools and phytotelmae to large water bodies. All larvae (except for Australomochlonyx nitidus) are predators on small arthropods, capturing prey with their antennae.

The family includes six extant genera and about fifty species. The European fauna consists of nine species (Wagner 2007), six of which are recorded in the Czech Republic and four in Slovakia (Jedlička & Országh 1997, Rozkošný 1998); the species number is probably definitive for the Czech Republic; the data in the Fauna Europaea (Wagner 2007) are incomplete.

The basic characteristics of the family were given by Saether (1997a, b, 2002); the Central European species may be identified using the monograph by Saether (1997b) and Rozkošný (1980). The nomenclature corresponding with that one in Fauna Europaea (Wagner 2007) is used in present checklist.


[1] Jedlička L. & Országh I. 1997: Chaoboridae. In Chvála M. (ed.): Check List of Diptera (Insecta) of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Karolinum Charles University Press, Prague, pp. 33-34.

[2] Rozkošný R. 1980: Čeleď koretrovití – Chaoboridae. In Rozkošný R. (ed.): Klíč vodních larev hmyzu ČSAV, Praha, pp. 279-282.

[3] Rozkošný R. 1998: Chaoboridae. In Rozkošný R. & Vaňhara J. (eds): Diptera of the Pálava Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO I. Folia Facultatis Scientiarium Naturalium Universitatis Masarykianae Brunensis, Biologia 99: 139-144.

[4] Saether O.A. 1997a: Family Chaoboridae. In Papp L. & Darvas B. (eds): Contributions to a Manual of Palaearctic Diptera (with special reference to flies of economic importance). Vol. 2. Nematocera and Lower Brachycera. Science Herald, Budapest, pp. 305-317.

[5] Saether O.A. 1997b: Diptera Chaoboridae, phantom midges, In Nilsson A. (ed.): Aquatic Insects of North Europe. Vol. 2. Apollo Books, Stenstrup, pp. 149-161.

[6] Saether O.A. 2002: Chaoboridae. In Schwoerbel J. & Zwick P. (eds): Insecta: Diptera: Chaoboridae und Thaumaleidae. Süßwasserfauna von Mitteleuropa. Vol. 21/10+11. Spektrum, Heidelberg-Berlin, pp. 1-38.

[7] Wagner R. 2007: Fauna Europaea: Chaoboridae. In Jong H. de (ed.): Fauna Europaea: Diptera, Nematocera. Fauna Europaea version 1.3. <http:/>. Retrieved 17.06.2009.

Chaoborus Lichtenstein, 1800
Chaoborus s. str.
crystallinus (De Geer, 1776) CZ (B M ) SK
flavicans (Meigen, 1830) CZ (B M ) SK
obscuripes (van der Wulp, 1859) CZ (B ) SK
Peusomyia Saether, 1970
pallidus (Fabricius, 1794) CZ (B ) SK
Mochlonyx Loew, 1844
fuliginosus (Felt, 1905) CZ (B M )
velutinus (Ruthe, 1831) CZ (B M )