Chironomus plumosus


    Length 12mm. This is the largest non-biting midge. It has a range of colour forms from green, ginger, brown and black. The male has a pair of prominent plumes. There is a dark band at the end of each abdominal segment.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    It is necessary to key out this species by examining the specimen under a microscope. Please add a comment to explain how you identified it.


    Often around water during periods of egg laying by the females and at the hatching of adults.

    When to see it

    Usually seen during spring and summer when males create mating swarms which people can find quite a nuisance even though adults do not bite or feed.

    Life History

    The larvae of chironomid midges are called 'bloodworms' and they live at the bottom of lakes and rivers. The pupa floats to the surface where the adult then hatches out. They are very vulnerable to predation at this stage and rising trout and other fish are often feeding on this species.

    UK Status

    Very common species in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map