Sat, 27 May 2006 13:24:04 -0500

----- Original Message -----
From: Hold The Cow! <>
Date: Saturday, May 27, 2006 12:46 pm
> Thanks for the stories and advice so far from everyone who replied.
> Aren't bloodworms some kind of mosquito larvae?

Bloodworms are larvae of _Chironomus_, a member of the non-biting
midge family Chironomidae. This is a family of thousands of species
of flies with aquatic larvae, aerial adults. Whenever you are next-in-
a stream, look for the larvae on stones, logs and other hard surfaces
in water. Also on the surface of sediments. They'll be in tubes made
of silk and algae often.

An expert on their taxonomy once told me that I could expect 50
species in a single reach of an Ozark stream. Many are algivores, but
others are detritivores, and some are predators. They contribute
immensely to the ecology of aquatic systems. In fact, along with
blackfly larvae, they are the favorite foods of darters in many

Also, look for the adults in the air around the stream, particularly
in bright, sunny areas. They will often be in swarms perhaps a yard
across. Each adult midge is only about a mm long. If you catch some
you'll find that they have only two wings, like other flies. They
won't bit you, but you may accidentally inhale a few, especially-in-
night if you use a bright lamp! I have no idea if this would trigger
the "allergic" response that somoe of you report.

Dave Mc

David L. McNeely, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
Langston University; P.O. Box 1500
Langston, OK 73050; email:
telephone: (405) 466-6025; fax: 405) 466-3307
home page

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