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To most people midges are a nuisance – annoying creatures that can spoil a quiet evening or stick to the windscreen of your car in such numbers that you can't see through it. However, there are those who study these tiny insects with great passion, including the two authors of this book. Because the European Water Framework Directive requires the authorities to ascertain the presence status of macro-invertebrates in surface waters, their work gained more attention.
Chironomids are a group of non-biting midges, the larvae of which are important in aquatic ecosystems. A major subfamily of this group are the Tanypodinae. The larvae of most of the species are free-swimming or crawling predators while those of other species burrow in the mud on the bottom. Since they inhabit a variety of habitats they can be found in almost all surface waters in the Netherlands.
The authors revised existing identification keys and collected additional information on the biology and ecology of the larvae. Where possible, the identification keys use anatomical characters that are easily observed. The clear descriptions of the development stages, sampling methods and abiotic environmental factors help make this book useful for all students of chironomid larvae, professional or otherwise. This book is especially important for its potential use in water quality management.