Skip to main content


Simuliidae (black-flies, buffalo gnats; order Diptera, suborder Nematocera) Small family of small, stout flies which have short legs and elongated mouthparts. 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.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Simuliidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . 19 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Simuliidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . (February 19, 2019).

"Simuliidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved February 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.