; order Diptera, suborder Nematocera)
Small family of small, stout flies which have short legs and elongated mouth-parts. The wings are broad, with thickened anterior veins. The antennae are short, and 11-segmented, and ocelli are absent. In males, the eyes are holoptic. Females of some species are active blood-suckers, especially Simulium damnosum of Africa, which carries the nematode Onchocera, the cause of filariasis. Adults are never found far from running water, as their larvae are aquatic and prefer swift-flowing, well-oxygenated water. The larvae feed by filtering detritus and planktonic organisms from the water by means of a series of stout bristles around the mouth. The family has a world-wide distribution and in some countries is of great economic importance. More than 1300 species have been described.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.