Funding provided by the
National Science Foundation


University of Tennessee
Clemson University
University of California-Davis
Iowa State University
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Taxonomic key an interactive key to Chrionomidae



Diptera, or true flies, are among Earth's most species-rich groups of organisms. Biting and nonbiting midges make up over 10% of the species, with a disproportionate number that are economically and medically important, including those that feed on blood, transmit disease agents, and facilitate aquatic nutrient cycling. Research will focus on net-winged midges, nonbiting midges, meniscus midges, sand/moth flies, black flies, and solitary midges; all are taxonomically challenging, understudied, and insufficiently staffed with expertise.

MIDGEPEET will provide new information on biodiversity and ecology of these flies and a phylogenetic framework for natural classification and testing of biological hypotheses. New species will be described, identification keys prepared, and phylogenetic analyses conducted using morphological, molecular, and cytological data.

The project team will educate the next generation of taxonomic experts through a synergistic process involving workshops and integrated methodologies and collaborations. The work will involve applications of modern technology, including internet-accessible electronic publications and identification keys, digital image galleries of specimens, digital reproductions of taxonomic literature, electronic species distribution maps, nomenclatural databases, and interactive databases of GIS-compatible specimen data. Museum collections will be augmented with material from fieldwork. Long-term benefits will include infusion of taxonomic and biodiversity expertise into the scientific community.

This team is led by senior personnel at five institutions, dividing their work among the seven Nematocerous Diptera under study;

Senior personnel

John Moulton

Peter Adler

Gregory Courtney

Peter Cranston

Bradley Sinclair

Post doctorate researchers

  • Greg Curler
  • Yao Huang


  • Charles Beard

Graduate students

  • Nick Herald
  • Dustin Swanson
  • Scott McCluen
  • Katherine Gleason
  • Amanda Jacobson

Undergraduate students

  • Haley Bastien
  • Laura Winkler