SEM image of Simulium yahense, a black fly
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Nematocera


Nematocera ("thread-horns"), is a suborder of elongated flies with thin, segmented antennae and mostly aquatic larvae, consisting of the mosquitoes, crane flies, gnats, and midges.

Nematocera are typically characterized by filamentous, multi-segmented antennae which may be plumose in some males. Nematocera is a paraphyletic suborder, because one of its constituent families (Anisopodidae) is apparently a sister taxon to the entire suborder Brachycera; an alternative classification has been proposed in which the family Nymphomyiidae (traditionally classified within the Blephariceromorpha) is removed to its own suborder, the Archidiptera, and all the remaining Nematoceran families are placed in a suborder called Eudiptera – however, Eudiptera is also paraphyletic, and this classification has not been widely accepted. Largely due to its long history, the name Nematocera continues to be used.

Examples of the Nematocera include the mosquitoes (Culicidae), crane flies (Tipulidae) and black flies (Simuliidae). Many of the remaining families (especially Mycetophilidae, Anisopodidae and Sciaridae), are called gnats, while others (especially Chironomidae, Cecidomyiidae and Ceratopogonidae) are called midges.

The larvae are mostly aquatic and have distinct head with mouthparts that may be modified for filter feeding. The pupae are orthorrhaphous (meaning adults emerge from the pupa through a straight seam in the pupal cuticle). The body and legs of the adults are usually elongate and these flies often have relatively long abdomens.

Many species form mating swarms of males, and in some of these competition for females is extreme. Although many species (as larvae) have a strong association with water, even within a single family there may be a trend toward semiaquatic and terrestrial habitats.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nematocera — Nem a*toc e*ra, n. pl. [NL., fr. Gr. nh^ma, nh matos, a thread + ke ras horn.] (Zo[ o]l.) A suborder of dipterous insects, having long antenn[ae], as the mosquito, gnat, and crane fly; called also {Nemocera}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nematocěra — Nematocěra, s. Fadenhornmücke …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Nematocera — (Nemocera, Langhörner), s. Mücken …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Nematocera — Nematocera,   die Mücken …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Nematocera — Nematocera, Mücken, Unterordnung der ⇒ Diptera; Fühler lang, fadenförmig; Kopfkapsel der Larven gut erkennbar. Wichtige Familien: Scatopsidae, Dungmücken; Itonididae, Gallmücken; Petauristidae, Wintermücken; Culicidae, Stechmücken; Heleidae,… …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • Nematocera —   Nematocera Mosca de la humedad (Clogmia) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Nematocera — Nematocera …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nematocera — Dieser Artikel befasst sich mit einer Unterordnung der Insekten. Weiteres siehe: Mücke (Begriffsklärung). Mücken Aedes aegypti Systematik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nematocera — noun mosquitoes; fungus gnats; crane flies; gnats; sand flies • Syn: ↑suborder Nematocera • Hypernyms: ↑animal order • Member Holonyms: ↑Diptera, ↑order Diptera …   Useful english dictionary

  • Nematocera — Nem·a·toc·era (nem″ə tosґər ə) [Gr. nēma thread + keras horn] a suborder of insects of the order Diptera, characterized by having antennae of many segments; it includes the gnats, mosquitoes, midges, black flies,… …   Medical dictionary