Due to my cooperation with Zagreb university i was able to put my hands on very first samples of dipteran adults from the deepest cave of the Dinaric alps - Lucina jama which is about 1240 something meters dept. Apparently, all (all 10) specimens of diptera from this cave where chironomids.They where collected in the relartivley large chamber (most of the cave is a vertical shaft, our collegaue from Zagreb - brave subterrain arachnologist, Martina Pavlek spent 10 terrible days geting down to this chamber) All this beast are Orthocladiinae females, all was very pale, with thin cuticle. Living animal (see the photo) was brownish, in alcohol -pale greenish. Eyes very reduced -they have bean-like "eye field" of normal chironomid size but only couple of ommatidia are sitting at it! Trond Andersen and me are going to describe COI and 18S sequences dont really fits anywhere showing the same distance to the some Chaetochladius, Cricotopus and Bryophaenocladius (88% of similarity my best match at GenBank for COI). So most probaly it is not just partenogenetic cave form of something described, like some spp have partenogenetic and sexual forms.
In relation to that i have a question - could any one recall any chironomids which show ommatidia reduction in number and size? I could recall only Oreadomyia albertae - in the original description it seems to have a small eyes with relativly small number of facets, but their eyes are divided into dorsal and ventral part and facets are quite big...
I would like to hear you suggestions about morphological similarities, maybe some similar adaptations of other chironomids/ diptera.
Best wishes from Berlin