Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Gall Midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae)

  • Netta Dorchin
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1025

Cecidomyiidae are one of the largest families in the order Diptera, with more than 5,700 described species and many more undescribed and unknown species worldwide. The family belongs to the suborder Nematocera, and its closest relatives within it are the fungus-feeding gnats in the families Sciaridae and Mycetophilidae (in the broad sense). According to fossils from the Jurassic period, the family is at least 150 million years old, but has apparently experienced explosive speciation during the Cretaceous, with the appearance of flowering plants. Cecidomyiidae have a cosmopolitan distribution, although only the faunas of Europe and North America are fairly well known. This situation makes it impossible to estimate the actual number of species in the family. The common name “gall midges” refers to the gall- inducing habit of most species, which constitute the largest group of gall-inducing organisms. However, the family also contains many species that are fungus-feeders, predators, or...

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Netta Dorchin
    • 1
  1. 1.Museum KoenigBonnGermany