Evolution of hematophagy in “non-biting midges” (Diptera: Chironomidae)
Modern Chironomidae (Nematocera, Culicomorpha) are broadly distributed on all continents. Although almost all recent adults feed on nectar and honeydew, the two living genera Austrochlus and Archaeochlus have well-developed mouthparts. The study of fossil Chironomidae with mandibulate and functional mouthparts is of great interest for the understanding of the history of the evolution of this structure in this group. Hematophagy in insects and its evolution in Chironomidae are discussed, and a hypothesis for the loss of this type of feeding in recent chironomids is given.