Nematocera

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Nematocera
Aedes aegypti.jpg
Aedes aegypti, a disease-carrying mosquito
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Nematocera

The Nematocera are a large suborder of flies which include the mosquitoes and midges. They usually have long thin bodies, with segmented antennae. Usually their larvae are aquatic, but there are many exceptions to this.

Examples of the Nematocera include the mosquitoes (Culicidae), crane flies (Tipulidae) and black flies (Simuliidae). Many of the other families are called gnats, and others are called midges.

Many species form mating swarms of males, and in some of these, competition for females is extreme. Although many species (as larvae) have a strong association with water, even within a single family there may be a trend toward semiaquatic and terrestrial habitats.