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2 General Aspects of the Systematics, Biology and Ecology of the Chironomini

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Chapter Summary

The information given in this chapter applies to the Chironomini, although sometimes mention is made of other chironomids. The subfamily Chironominae has been divided into three tribes: Chironomini, Pseudochironomini and Tanytarsini (Saether, 1977a). The first instar larvae or larvulae of the Chironomini usually have a trifid median tooth, which is often different from the shape of this tooth in later instars. Many Chironomini species build a larval tube from fine particulate material using products from their salivary glands. Some species mine in plants (Endochironomus and Glyptotendipes ); a few species live in colonies of sponges or Bryozoa or as parasites on snails. Most species of the Harnischia complex are free living. The mouthparts of larvae of the Harnischia complex display obvious characters of carnivorous species, especially the sickle-shaped mandibles. Much research has been done on the influence of toxic chemicals on chironomids.

Keywords: biology; chironomini; ecology; Harnischia complex; toxic chemicals



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