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Mosquito like insects

Mosquitoes (Culicidae) are not the only group of two-winged insects (Diptera) and people quite often confuse them with other mosquito like insects. Here we give descriptions of some similar looking insect families.

True mosquitoes are most commonly mistaken with midges – family Chironomidae. Their larvae also develop in water, in the mud of the ponds or lakes, but adult midges do not bite at all! Adult midges are commonly observed flying in swarms and are attracted by lights, so they enter houses at nighttime. Midges have wings shorter than body, while wings of true mosquitoes are same length of slightly longer that their body. Chironomids also have distinct 


Another group of insects, readily taken as mosquitoes are crane flies – families Tipulidae and Limoniidae. They vary in size from 1/4 inch to as large as 1 1/2 inches in length, so are mostly larger than mosquitoes. Larvae of crane flies develop in moist soil and feed on dead leaves, fungi, roots of plants and other organic matter. Adult crane flies do not feed at all or consume only some nectar, therefore they can’t bite too. Their wings are longer than the body.

Next mosquito-like group is winter crane flies, or winter gnats – family Trichoceridae. They are often abundant only during late autumn, winter or early spring and could even be found on snow during milder winter days. Their larvae are found in decaying vegetation, rotting leaves, manure, and other material. Although adult winter gnats resemble mosquitoes very closely, they lack long proboscis (can’t bite) and could be differentiated by this peculiarity quite easily.

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