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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Discovery of the Flightless Marine Midge Pontomyia (Diptera: Chironomidae) at Christmas Island, Australia


We document the discovery of a unique flightless marine midge Pontomyia (Chironomidae) in the Indian Ocean, presenting descriptions and photographs of the insect and its environment at Christmas Island, Australia. The insect is identified as P. natans, with distinctive male genitalia and rudimentary claws on the hind legs. This species is widely distributed in the Pacific Ocean but the only previous record from the Indian Ocean was from the Maldives. It is highly likely that other populations are present along the continental coast of the latter ocean basin.

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