As a rule flies are of small or moderate size, and many, such as certain blood-sucking midges of the genus Ceratopogon, are even minute; as extremes of size may be mentioned a common British midge, Ceratopogon varius, the female of which measures only 14 millimetre, and the gigantic Mydaidae of Central and South America as well as certain Australian robber-flies, which have a body 1-11n.
That Diptera of the type of the common house-fly are often in large measure responsible for the spread of such diseases as cholera and enteric fever is undeniable, and as regards blood-sucking forms, in addition to those to which reference has already been made, it is sufficient to mention the vast army of pests constituted by the midges, sand-flies, horseflies, &c., from the attacks of which domestic animals suffer equally with man, in addition to being frequently infested with the larvae of the bot and warble flies (Gastrophilus, Oestrus and Hypoderma).
The dipterous gall-formers include the gall-midges, or gallgnats (Cecidomyidae), minute slender-bodied insects, with bodies usually covered with long hairs, and the wings folded over the back.
To the traveller, the most conspicuous among the Mexican insects, perhaps, are the butterflies, beetles, ants and the myriads of mosquitoes, midges, fleas and chinches.
The midges are even more numerous than the mosquitoes.
An ear of another type is found in the swollen second segment of the feeler in many male gnats and midges, the cuticle between this segment and the third forming an annular drum which is connected with numerous nerveendings, while the fine bristles on the more distal segments vibrate in response to the note produced by the humming of the female.
In some midges and in caddis-flies the serosa becomes ruptured and absorbed, while the germ band, still clothed with the amnion, grows around the yolk.
In general appearance mosquitoes resemble many harmless midges (Chironomidae), but may be distinguished by the following characters.
Comprises the midges, gnats, crane-flies, gad-flies, &c.