I've seen these insects before (here in Cambridge, UK) and thought that they were probably mosquitoes, but they don't make the annoying noise that mosquitoes do (they fly similarly, but silently):

top down view of insect side view of insect

I also noticed that they are perhaps slightly larger than mosquitoes (maybe 12mm long) and don't have the long mouth which mosquitoes use to sting you.

Sorry for the poor photos, I don't have a camera with a macro lens anymore, and it's night-time. It's casting a strong shadow as you can see in the second photo.


1 Answer 1


It is most certainly a fly from Chironomidae, which belongs to the same suborder (Nematocera) as Mosquitoes (Culicidae). They have an overall resemblance to mosquitoes, but lack the large sucking mouthparts, and often have the large feathery antenna that are seen in your pictures. Some species are found in large swarms in early spring (but also later in the summer). Larvae can be found in most freshwater, and are called bloodworms due to red colour (high in hemoglobin, adapted to live in oxygen-poor sediment environments)

I doubt that the exact species can be determined from these pictures though.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Agreed as to family, and also to the doubt that further identification is possible: these midges are among the "some disassembly required" insects; the book "Chironomidae of the Holarctic region. — Keys and diagnoses. Vol. 3. Male imagines.(Diptera)" (Entomologica Scandinavica Supplement 34) summarizes a procedure that ends with FIVE cover slips on one slide, each holding part of the specimen! (The number goes up to seven if you have the last larval and pupal skins of the same specimen.) $\endgroup$
    – user32396
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 17:33

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