Marine Biology

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 1–5 | Cite as

Observations on behavior, emergence and reproduction of the marine midges Pontomyia (Diptera: Chironomidae)

  • L. Cheng
  • J. D. Collins


Pontomyia is a genus of tiny flightless marine midges, with 4 described species, found on tropical or subtropical sea shores of the western Pacific Ocean. They are rarely noticed because of their small size (about 1.5 mm) and ephemeral adult life (1 to 3 h). They usually occur in association with seagrasses and seaweeds on which the larvae feed. The oar-like wings of adult males propel them over the water surface, but do not enable them to fly. Adult females are not only wingless but virtually legless. Emergence of the adults in the field may occur either during the day or at night. In a laboratory aquarium population of P. cottoni Womersley, maintained for about 18 months in a 12 h light-12 h dark cycle, males began to emerge at the end of the light period, whereas females emerged only after the onset of darkness. Field observations suggest that emergence times are probably influenced also by tides.


Water Surface Pacific Ocean Adult Male Field Observation Adult Female 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Cheng
    • 1
  • J. D. Collins
    • 2
  1. 1.Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of CaliforniaLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Marine BiologyJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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