More About Noseeums
Where Punkies Live, No-See-Um Diversity, Biting Midge Larvae … A Great Noseeums Resource
Where Punkies Live
Some noseeum species are found to reside mainly in the wet, muddy areas in and around salt-marshes, mangrove swamps, and other such marshy places. No-see-ums can also be found in and around farms, sheep and swine areas, and even dairies. In these areas, you can find them hiding in the mud. Some biting midge larvae can live in the water, but not in a submerged state. Noseeum eggs must remain wet to stay alive; they cannot survive drying. Consequently, they are often found laying on wet mud in biting midge breeding areas—and these are the habitats in which the juvenile stages of treacherous noseeums (in other words, biting midge larvae) are commonly found.
Breeding areas can vary depending on the particular species of noseeums. Areas with substantial salt marsh habitats are major producers of many biting midge species. Additional sources for species such as the bluetongue virus vector Culicoides sonorensis Wirth and Jones, include highly organic soil that is wet but not underwater. Such environments may be found, for example, amidst high manure concentration areas (e.g. in swine, sheep, and cattle farming operations).
Biting Midge Larvae
Biting midge larvae develop in a four stage process. Fully grown, these noseeum larvae are still very small: only between one-eighth and one-quarter of an inch long. If you can somehow spot them, you’ll notice that they are creamy white in color, and are also somewhat eel-like in appearance. Tiny as they are, these vicious little pests regularly feed on other small organisms in the water. Punkies stay in their larval stage a varying amount of time; it all depends on the season and surrounding temperature. When they finally mature, they will transform into pupae, and remain as such for between two and three days.