Sleeping Chironomid

Note on citation 1: Hinton (1960a) states that P. vanderplanki is found in arid regions of northern Nigeria and Uganda, which is surprising, since the two countries are far apart and Uganda has few arid regions. I consulted gbif (, accessed 5/22/19), a global database for species occurrence records. There are only two records for P. vanderplanki; the holotype specimen (a specimen stored in a museum to represent the taxa (species, genus, family etc.) so researchers can compare any organisms they’ve found that they think might be undescribed) stored in the British Natural History Museum, originally found in Nigeria, and another specimen from the Institute of Research and Development in France, found in Burkina Faso, a country much more arid and closer to Nigeria than Uganda. I could not find any other sources stating that the midge was found in Uganda which did not cite Hinton’s paper, and so have decided to use those two occurrences.

1. ibrahim A, Granouillac B (2012).c Occurrence dataset accessed via on 2019-05-17.

1. Natural History Museum (2019). Natural History Museum (London) Collection Specimens. Occurrence dataset accessed via on 2019-05-17.

2. Hinton, H. E. (1951, August). A new Chironomid from Africa, the larva of which can be dehydrated without injury. In Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (Vol. 121, No. 2, pp. 371-380). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

3. Hinton, H. E. (1960). A Fly Larva that tolerates Dehydration and Temperatures of− 270° to+ 102° C. Nature188(4747), 336.

4. Hinton, H. E. (1960). Cryptobiosis in the larva of Polypedilum vanderplanki Hint.(Chironomidae). Journal of Insect Physiology5(3-4), 286-300.

5. Watanabe, M. (2006). Anhydrobiosis in invertebrates. Applied entomology and zoology41(1), 15-31.

6. Watanabe, M., Kikawada, T., & Okuda, T. (2003). Increase of internal ion concentration triggers trehalose synthesis associated with cryptobiosis in larvae of Polypedilum vanderplanki. Journal of Experimental Biology206(13), 2281-2286.

7. Gusev, O., Cornette, R., Kikawada, T., & Okuda, T. (2011). Expression of heat shock protein-coding genes associated with anhydrobiosis in an African chironomid Polypedilum vanderplanki. Cell Stress and Chaperones16(1), 81-90.

8. Cornette, R., Gusev, O., Nakahara, Y., Shimura, S., Kikawada, T., & Okuda, T. (2015). Chironomid midges (Diptera, chironomidae) show extremely small genome sizes. Zoological science32(3), 248-255.

9. Cornette, R., Yamamoto, N., Yamamoto, M., Kobayashi, T., Petrova, N. A., Gusev, O., … & Okuda, T. (2017). A new anhydrobiotic midge from Malawi, Polypedilum pembai sp. n.(Diptera: Chironomidae), closely related to the desiccation tolerant midge, Polypedilum vanderplanki Hinton. Systematic entomology42(4), 814-825.

10. “Number of insects (species and individuals)”, Smithsonian Institution., accessed 5/22/19.


The Fog catchers

Works cited:

  1. Nørgaard, T., & Dacke, M. (2010). Fog-basking behaviour and water collection efficiency in Namib Desert Darkling beetles. Frontiers in zoology7(1), 23.
  2. Guadarrama-Cetina, J., Mongruel, A., Medici, M. G., Baquero, E., Parker, A. R., Milimouk-Melnytchuk, I., … & Beysens, D. (2014). Dew condensation on desert beetle skin. The European Physical Journal E37(11), 109.
  3. Zeng, X., Qian, L., Yuan, X., Zhou, C., Li, Z., Cheng, J., … & Wen, X. (2016). Inspired by stenocara beetles: from water collection to high-efficiency water-in-oil emulsion separation. ACS nano11(1), 760-769.