Eggs of British meniscus midges (Diptera: Dixidae) observed by scanning electron microscopy

Thorpe, Julian (1991) Eggs of British meniscus midges (Diptera: Dixidae) observed by scanning electron microscopy. Freshwater Forum, 1 (3). pp. 215-224. ISSN 0961-4664

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In their early stages, meniscus midges are truly inhabitants of the waterfilm, in a variety of habitats from still to flowing water. Larvae dislodged into the water from their usual inverted-U-shaped position in the film drawn up around emergent leaves and stems, carry a bubble of air between their infolded bristle-fringed posterior paddles and soon surface again; they may make S-shaped curves across the surface of the water before taking up position in the meniscus again. The pupa also lies in the water-film drawn up by some emergent substratum, receiving air through two characteristic respiratory trumpets, and remaining motionless unless disturbed. Stillness is in fact a feature of this Family of non-biting midges, and the adults, especially the females, stand for hours in a vertical position, head up, motionless or slowly waving the third pair of long legs. A unique type of semaphore, however, is demonstrated by both males and females of one species of Dixella, by rapid, or sometimes more prolonged, wing flexes in which two, three or more individuals may take part in turn.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biochemistry
Depositing User: Julian Thorpe
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:06
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2012 08:23
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