The New Zealand midges are native mosquito-like flying insects associated with water such as lakes and so are often referred to as Lake Flies.
Identify the problem
New Zealand non-biting midges or lake flies should not be confused with the biting midges found in the northern hemisphere, native biting midges* or with mosquitoes.
The adults are similar looking to mosquitoes. They are 5-10mm in size and do not bite, having no mouth parts. The adults only live for around 36 hours, however, they can become a considerable nuisance when they congregate in very large numbers during warm weather. They may be seen in large clouds around lakes and will be attracted by lights and settle on light coloured surfaces.
There are biting midges in New Zealand. Biting midges (Ceratopogonidae) are of two main groups; those that feed on the blood of vertebrates including humans, and those that feed on the blood of other insects. There are about 120 species in New Zealand, of which six may bite us.
Did You Know
- The non-biting midges are in the family Chironomidae