8 Difference between Midges and Mosquitoes (With Table)

Midges and mosquitoes belong to the order Diptera. They have a lot in common as they possess similar morphological structures.

Midges and mosquitoes are both tiny animals and they live near water or marshy places. However, they are mostly confused by people and are referred to interchangeably.

Midges are tiny, stubby-winged flies, often seen swarming. They are found seasonally. Some midges such as sand fly and black fly are vectors of various diseases.

Mosquitoes are tiny insects but they have slender bodies, often live a solitary life, and live near water or marshy places.

As both insects share a lot, they are often confused by people and they are referred to interchangeably.

So, what is the main difference between midges and mosquitoes? Midges do not have proboscis while mosquitoes have a proboscis.

This article is going to give more differences between midges and mosquitoes and you will also learn of similarities between the two.

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Comparison Table (Midges vs. Mosquitoes)

Basic TermsMidges Mosquitoes
MeaningIt is a small insect that has two wings, lives in swarms, and lives near water or marshy places.It is a slender, long-legged insect with aquatic larvae and its bloodsucking females transmit various diseases.
ProboscisThey do not have proboscis.They have a proboscis.
WingsTheir wings look like barren panes of glass.Edges of the wings are covered in scales.
Length of wingsThey have shorter wings.They have longer wings.
Flying speedThey fly slowly.They fly faster.
Interaction to lightThey do not prefer direct sunlight.They prefer direct sunlight.
Resting positionThey show a straight appearance at-rest position.They show a humpback appearance.
RolesThey are harmless and serve as detritivores in a natural ecosystem.They are bloodsuckers and serve as vectors to various diseases.

What are Midges?

Midges are small insects with two wings that appear barren like panes of glass and they are mainly found in swarms near water or marshy areas.

Their wings are short and this makes them not able to fly over long distances. They feed on a variety of decomposing matter and animal matter.

They do not have a proboscis as in mosquitoes. They cannot bite hence they are not harmful as they cannot transmit diseases to human beings.

However, there are some midges classified under the true fly, they are vectors of various diseases. These types should be avoided near homes at any cost.

They are useful in a way that they serve as detritivores in a natural ecosystem. This enables the ecosystem to remain at an equilibrium level.

What are Mosquitoes?

They are found in order Diptera. Both male and female mosquitoes have a proboscis (the mouth-biting parts that they use to suck blood).

Male mosquitoes are not harmful. They only use their mouth to sip nectar from flowers. Females also sip nectar from flowers but they also need blood to produce viable eggs.

They have long wings which have scales that create a fringe-like border on the trailing edge. They rest in humpback position raising their body away from the substrate.

After the female mosquitoes have bitten a human being, they leave an itching mark which may make the host keep on scrubbing the area.

They live near water or marshy places hence to do away with mosquitoes around homes, all stagnant water should be drained away.

Main Differences between Midges and Mosquitoes

  1. Midges do not have proboscis while mosquitoes have a proboscis.
  2. Midges have short wings while mosquitoes have long wings.
  3. Midges’ wings appear like barren panes of glass while mosquitoes’ wings have scales on the wings that look like fine hairs.
  4. Midges form swarms while mosquitoes live solitary lives.
  5. Midges are not harmful as they are not vectors to diseases while mosquitoes are vectors to various diseases.
  6. Midges show a straight resting position while mosquitoes show a humpback position while resting.
  7. Midges fly over a short distance while mosquitoes fly over a long distance.
  8. Midges do not prefer direct sunlight while mosquitoes prefer and are active in direct sunlight.

Similarities between Midges and Mosquitoes

  1. They both live near water or marshy places.
  2. They both belong to the order Diptera.
  3. They both have a pair of functional wings.
  4. Both have a head, thorax, and abdomen.
  5. Both have a pair of large compound eyes.
  6. Both have aquatic larvae.
  7. Both are small in body size.
  8. Both can cause diseases to human beings.

Conclusion

Midges and mosquitoes belong to the same order Diptera. They have a lot in common and hence they are commonly mistaken for each other.

However, the two are different from each other in that midges do not have proboscis while mosquitoes have a proboscis. Midges are not harmful apart from the ones classified as true flies while mosquitoes are harmful as they serve as vectors to various diseases.

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