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Chironomus riparius (Chironomidae)


Chironomus riparius

The harlequin fly Chironomus riparius (syn. C. thummi) represents the mosquito branch of lower dipterans but does not sting. It is common in North America and Europe and rather easy to maintain as a laboratory culture.  Chironomus riparius is a long-standing model for the analysis of genome structure in insects. In addition, this species is used in toxicology tests. Chironomus riparius is also very suitable for functional developmental genetic studies in early embryos.

Genome size: about 195 Mb in both sexes (Schmidt-Ott et al. 2009).

Generation time: ca. 4 weeks

Embryogenesis: ca. 48 hours



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Published data on Chironomus from the Schmidt-Ott lab

  • Schmidt-Ott, U., Rafiqi, Ab. M., Sander, K., Johnston, J. S. (2009). Extremely small genomes in two unrelated dipteran insects with shared early developmental traits. Dev. Genes. Evol. .


See also

  • Sander, K (2000) “Chironomus embryology in the 19th century: Insights and errors of its pioneers…” In: Odwin Hoffrichter (ed) Late 20th century research in Chironomidae: an anthology from the 13th international symposium on Chironomidae. Aachen, Shaker Verlag, pp 1-16.



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