Diversity and Distribution of Midge-Fauna (Insecta : Diptera) of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Himalaya (India)

Author(s): Bhagat RC

In this paper midge-fauna, including 58 species, belonging to 35 genera, under Nematoceran families, viz. Blephariceridae, Cecidomyiidae, Ceratopogonidae, Chaoboridae, Chironomidae, Deuterophlebiidae, Dixidae and Scatopsidae, have been studied. These midges are occurring in different kinds of habitats (aquatic, semi-aquatic and terrestrial), in diverse areas and localities of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Himalayan regions. The chironomid midgesare dominant in these regions, incorporating 38 species under 18 genera, followed by cecidomyiids and blepharicerids, having 8 spp. and 5 spp. respectively. Ceratopogonids and Chaoborids, are represented by 2 spp. each, whereas deuterophlebiid,dixid and scatopsid, with 1 sp. each. Apart from these, about 29 genera, covering 42 new species (undescribed by earlier authors) of chironomid midges, prevalent in Tso Moriri lake of Ladakh region, have also been listed. The larvae of aquatic midges are inhabitant of diverse water bodies of Jammu,Kashmir and Ladakh Himalaya, serving as food for fishes and as valuable bio -indicator ofwater quality. The database pertaining to different kinds of midges, has been updated in the light of recent systematic and nomenclatural changes. The local distribution and diversity of midge-fauna have been discussed. Besides, an up-to-date annotated check list of valid midge species, has been presented.

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