The feeding action of Forcipomyia paludis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), a parasite of Odonata imagines


Females of Forcipomyia paludis were studied microscopically during their feeding action on Odonata wings where they were mostly attached to main veins in the basal half of the wings. In some individuals rhythmic nodding of the head was noted. Conspicuously many midges lifted the abdominal tip every one or two minutes and from the anus fast growing gas bubbles appeared that burst after about half a second. We suppose that the insects, having punctured the host’s veins with their stout proboscis, sucked much air (as well as haemolymph) from the tracheae which they had to get rid of afterwards. From these observations, combined with further indications, it is inferred that F. paludis acts as a true parasite of Odonata and that the association is not only phoretic as previously assumed.

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