The main difference between midges and sandflies is that midges do not bite whereas sandflies are blood-feeding flies.
Midges and sandflies are two types of small flies that belong to the order Diptera. Generally, they contain single pair of wings, a pair of large compound eyes, and mouthparts designed for sucking and piercing.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Midges
– Definition, Anatomy, Importance
2. What are Sandflies
– Definition, Anatomy, Importance
3. Similarities Between Midges and Sandflies
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Midges and Sandflies
– Comparison of Key Differences
What are Midges
Midges are a type of smaller fly with two wings. These shorter wings are one of the main characteristic features of midges. Their wings are also not covered by scales. Furthermore, another of their characteristic feature is that at rest, they keep their body straight. In fact, they look very similar to mosquitoes, and they belong to the suborder Nematocera under the order Diptera. However, midges do not contain a proboscis, the biting mouthparts as in mosquitoes. Therefore, they cannot bite, so they do not transmit diseases. Hence, they are usually harmless.
Furthermore, midges serve as detrivores in many nutritional cycles. Nevertheless, a large number of slowly flying midges may form swarms, which are annoying. But, there is a group of biting midges classified under the true fly family, Ceratopogonidae. They serve as vectors for the transmission of parasitic nematodes Mansonella, bluetongue disease, African horse sickness, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, arboviruses, and nonviral animal pathogens.
What are Sandflies
Sandflies are a common name for flying, biting, and blood-sucking species found in sandy areas. They are a member of the family Ceratopogonidae that contain biting midges. Biting midges are also known as greenflies or horseflies. The bites of the sandflies are small, and they have intensively itchy bumps or welts. In addition, the bumps persist for 5-7 days. Apart from that, female sandfly is responsible for biting and sucking the blood of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Generally, the proteins in the blood are important for the production of eggs.
Moreover, sandflies belong to the subfamily Phlebotominae. Some genera of the sandfly subfamily also serve as primary vectors for leishmaniasis and pappataci fever. Confusingly, both diseases are known as sandfly fever. This disease spreads in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Generally, the genus Leishmania causes the disease leishmaniasis.
Similarities Between Midges and Sandflies
- Midges and sandflies are two types of flies of the order Diptera.
- They contain single pair of wings, a pair of large compound eyes, and mouthparts designed for sucking and piercing.
- Both have a mobile head.
- They use a single pair of wings to fly, while the hindwing pair is important as sensors of high speed.
Difference Between Midges and Sandflies
Midges refer to a small two-winged fly that forms swarms and breeds near water or marshy areas, while sandflies refer to a small hairy biting fly of tropical and subtropical regions that transmits a number of diseases, including leishmaniasis.
Midges belong to small flies that belong to the several families of non-mosquito Nematoceran Diptera, while sandflies are a common name for flies that belong to the subfamily Phlebotominae of the family Psychodidae.
Midges are several groups of flies, while sandflies are a group of midges.
Midges do not bite, while sandflies are blood-sucking flies.
Some midges, such as black flies, transmit diseases, while sandflies are vectors that transmit leishmaniasis and pappataci fever.
In brief, midges and sandflies are two types of insects that belong to the order Diptera. Both have a mobile head, pair of wings to fly, and a pair of compound eyes. midges are a group of flies belonging to several non-mosquito Nematoceran Diptera families. But in general, these flies do not bite and are not vectors for the transmission of diseases. In comparison, sandflies are responsible for bites as they are blood-sucking insects. They serve as vectors for transmitting leishmaniasis and pappataci fever. Therefore, the main difference between midges and sandflies is the biting and disease transmission.
- Biting midges. Brisbane City Council. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2023.