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6 General Aspects of the Systematics, Biology and Ecology of the Tanypodinae

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Chapter Summary

This chapter covers systematic relationships, and the biological and ecological properties of Tanypodinae. The life cycles found within the subfamily Tanypodinae are very diverse. The shape of the egg mass and arrangement of the eggs differs considerably between genera of Tanypodinae. In the first instar (the larvula), Tanypodinae are already recognisable by their retractile antennae, the singular kidney-shaped eye and the distinctively developed ligula. Tanypodinae pupae are also free-living. Most Tanypodinae are inhabitants of stagnant water. It is said that Tanypodinae of different groups feed on plant as well as animal material, and that most species can exploit both diets. According to Thienemann and Zavrel, Tanypodinae larvae are largely free of parasitic Nematoda (Mermis) and Sporozoa are thought to be less common than in other Chironomidae. Dispersal of adults by air is not essentially different from dispersal in other subfamilies of Tanypodinae.

Keywords: adult dispersal; Chironomidae; egg mass; larvula; systematic relationships; Tanypodinae



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