Currently viewing the category: "Midges"
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Subject: Morphing Pods
Location: John Bryan State Park – Yellow Springs, OH
June 7, 2015 9:06 am
I live in Ohio and was walking through the woods on May 17th. We were down by the creek and on the over hanging rocks we found these strange pods. Some looked like they could be scale bugs but as we examined more we could see the cycle unfold. The pale off white dripping pods eventually turned into so sort of flying insect. Could you shed any light on what sort of creatures they could be?
Thank you!
Signature: Curious Naturalist

Mystery Insects

Mystery Insects may be Fungus Infection

Dear Curious Naturalist,
We wish you had better quality images.  We do not know what is going on here, but it appears there are several different species of insects along with what you are calling “Morphing Pods”, and we have not been able to find anything similar looking online.  The larger white bodies insects with dark markings and wings do not look familiar to us, but hopefully one of our readers will be able to provide some information.  Can you provide any additional information regarding the size of the things in question?

Mystery

Fungus Infection

Mystery

Fungus Infection

I am sorry about the quality I only had my phone on my at the time. They were no bigger than a small fingernail. It was almost as if they were globs sprouting wings, then eyes and so on. At first I thought it was the early life cycle of another insect I had seen but I am an amateur and can not tell if they are similar enough. here is what I thought they MIGHT turn into.  Thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this mystery.

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Golden Backed Snipe Fly

Thanks for the additional information.  The new image you provided is a Golden Backed Snipe Fly and we don’t believe it has any connection to the pods you observed.

Eric Eaton confirms our own suspicion
Daniel:
I’m thinking the “cycle” is the other way around.  It looks clear to me that these are midges that have become infected with some kind of entomopathic fungus.  This is certainly well-documented in other flies, but I haven’t seen a group effect like this before.
Eric

Thanks so much Eric,
We had pondered the possibility that this might be a fungus.  Thanks for the confirmation.

Heather Duggan-Christensen, Sue Dougherty liked this post
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Subject: Unknown winged insect
Location: SE Baton Rouge, Louisiana
January 19, 2015 7:50 am
I was refilling my bird feeders when this insect dropped off the remains of a seed block onto my trash container. The critter measured about .75 inch from front feet to tail.
From the looks of those antennae my guess is that he navigates by scent or vibration rather than vision.
Any idea what it is?
Signature: Russ Norwood

Male Midge

Male Midge

Dear Russ,
This is a male (yes those antennae enable him to locate a female) member of the order Diptera that includes Flies and related insects with two wings.  We suspect this is a male Midge or male Gnat and it looks quite similar to this image of
 Apsectrotanypus johnsoni that we located on BugGuide, however, BugGuide indicates a size of 4mm, which is considerably smaller than the 3/4 inch you have indicated.  We will try to determine the species identity of your large male Midge.  Of the Lake Midge from further North, BugGuide indicates:  “Wing length typically 5.9 mm, occasionally as long as 7.5 mm. Male body length typically 10, occasionally as long as 13 mm. This is the largest member of the family.”

Thanks for the rapid reply as well as for your very interesting response.  My estimate of size was rough, so is probably best taken with a grain of salt.  I included everything from the tip of the (abdomen?) to the tips of the two extended front legs.
Thanks to your kind response I looked up the species elsewhere.  This reference on wikipedia mentions that some may feed on sugars.  For what it’s worth, the seeds in the block remnant on which I found him were glued together with sugars.
I’ve made a donation Daniel.  Thanks again.
Russ Norwood

Thanks for your kind donation Russ.  We are still awaiting a response from Eric Eaton to see if he recognizes you Midge.

Eric Eaton Responds
Hi, Daniel:

It is indeed a male midge, family Chironomidae, and some can get pretty large.  There is somebody that has written a book about midges of the southeast, … John Epler.  Here’s his web page link:
http://home.comcast.net/~johnepler3/index.html
Eric

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Subject: Whats this bug?
Location: Northeast Ohio
March 28, 2014 2:56 pm
Trying to identify this insect because theres thousands of them all over my new fence. Its early spring now and we just had our fence installed the beginning of winter.
Signature: Charles Speelman

Non-Biting Midge

Non-Biting Midge

Dear Charles,
This looks like a Non-Biting Midge to us, and the feathery antennae indicate that it is a male.  According to BugGuide, Midges are:  “Small, delicate flies, resemble mosquitoes but do not bite. Often ‘dance’ in large swarms over water or lawns.”  You can compare your individual to this image on BugGuide.

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Subject: Spring southern ohio
Location: mason ohio 45040
March 24, 2014 1:52 pm
We live in Mason Ohio, a northern suburb of Cincinnati. We had a swarm (or just a large grouping maybe – I don’t want to use incorrect term) of these in our front yard. They seemed to be in pairs, rear end to rear end, probably mating. We live 50 feet from a perennial stream which flows year round. The event and associated photo happened on 3/14/2014. We just emerged from a very long cold weather pattern.
Signature: chuck

Midges

Midges

Hi Chuck,
These appear to be Midges, non-biting relatives of Mosquitoes.

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Mosquito Project
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
May 1, 2012
Hey Daniel,  You guys were so interested by it last year, I figured I’d just drop u a quick email letting you know that I’m doing my mosquito project again this year. Just started it last week. I’m actually going to be buying a few small fish soon so I’m hoping to be able to raise them for fish food as well. Just wanted to share with someone who shares my passion for bugs!!!
I knew what it was last yr when I did my mosquito project but I forgot what it is. I also didn’t know it goes thru a process much like that of a mosquito until I saw this lil guy with the white beard. :-)
Later! -Amanda Gorman

Bloodworm

Hi Amanda,
The aquatic creatures in your photos are Bloodworms: a larva and a pupa.  Bloodworms are the immature phases of Midges in the genus Chironomus.  Here is a matching photo from BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are usually found in sediments, and can occur in highly polluted conditions or in relatively clean water. Larvae of the Ch. decorus group, Ch. riparius and Ch. stigmaterus are most often associated with high nutrient/low oxygen conditions.”  Fish will relish Bloodworms as much as they do Mosquito Larvae.

Bloodworm Pupa

 

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Circle of Life
Location: Contra Costa County, CA
October 13, 2011 9:17 pm
Saw this guy flipping around on a leaf while hiking along the edge of a marsh. Didn’t even see the ant until I looked at the picture on my camera. I wasn’t able to stick around to see who won, but I know those ants aggressively defend their eucalyptus.
Signature: Fel

MIdge and Ant relationship

Dear Fel,
We cannot imagine what the Ant is doing to the Midge.  You actually witnessed it, so you think it looked like a battle.  We sense that this is some symbiotic relationship or possibly a one sided relationship.  Perhaps this became Phoresy after the camera stopped running. 

The midge was flipping around like he was trying to get away but the ant had a good grip on him. Those eucalyptus have some sort of psyllid insect, tortoise beetles (fast little buggers), and those ants. If you touch the leaves, the ants come running so I assumed the ant was defending his territory.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination