Currently viewing the category: "Gnats"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bugs mimic snake
Geographic location of the bug:  KwaZuluNatal, South Africa
Date: 05/08/2019
Time: 08:57 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Looked like a snake moving across a porch. Closer inspection showed it was made up of many ‘bugs’ – ?caterpillar-like (not sure – photo sent to me).
How you want your letter signed:  bewilderbeast

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Dear bewilderbeast,
This is an aggregation of Fungus Gnat larvae in the family Sciaridae,
and we have gotten reports in the past from South Africa.  According to GrowVeg:  “The small translucent eggs are laid in batches of 20-50 into the compost surface. These hatch into small cream-coloured maggots that have shiny black heads. The larvae live within the soil and feed on plant roots, lower stems and on leaves that touch the compost surface. When mature, the larvae are around 6mm in length.

Fungus Gnat Larvae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  ID please
Geographic location of the bug:  UK
Date: 12/12/2017
Time: 02:55 AM EDT
Hi Bugmen
Thank you so much for providing this service.  My thoughts are a parasitic wasp but your opinion would be greatly appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Karen

Gnat, we believe

Dear Karen,
The insect in the images you provided appears to have a single pair of wings, meaning it is in the order Diptera, the Flies.  We suspect this is some species of Gnat.

HI Daniel

Thank you so much and for responding so quickly.  Is it possible to identify it into one of these groups MycetophilidaeAnisopodidae and Sciaridae?  What is the abdominal cercus used for in this type of gnat?
Thank you for your time.
Regards,
Karen Chisholm

Dear Karen,
We do not have the necessary expertise to make that call conclusively.  We suspect that the the organ in question is an ovipositor.

Thank you so much Daniel.
Regards,

Karen Chisholm

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: catepillars
Location: Mpumalanga south africa
February 20, 2017 12:32 am
Hi there
I know the precessionary caterpillars. These ones move like, and obviously mimics a snake. they are much smaller. is it maybe the early stage of precessionary catepillars?
thanks
Signature: wetie

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Dear wetie,
We believe these are Fungus Gnat larvae from the family Sciaridae.  According to iSpot, Fungus Gnats are found in South Africa.  According to BugGuide:  “Sometimes abundant enough to form a crawling mass of several inches across and several feet long, similar to armyworm migrations.”

Fungus Gnat Larvae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug ID
Location: Bois Blanc Island, MI
February 9, 2017 1:07 pm
Last July, on an inland hike on Bois Blanc Island, MI we discovered swamp milkweed covered in these insects. I have zero idea what they were and had never seen them before. But curiosity has the best of me and I would like to know what they were if possible.
THANK YOU!
Signature: B. Dunn

Fungus Gnats, we believe

Dear B. Dunn,
At first we thought these might be March Flies, but they do not feed and most insects attracted to milkweed blossoms do so because of the rich nectar they provide.  We then entertained they might be Soft Winged Flower Beetles, but that did not look correct, so we contacted Eric Eaton for assistance.

Eric Eaton provides a possible identification.
Daniel:
These remind me of dark-winged fungus gnats, family Sciaridae, but I cannot tell for certain from this one image.
Eric

Ed. Note:  This BugGuide image supports Eric Eaton’s identification.  Though BugGuide does not provide any information on adult food preferences, BugGuide does contain some images of adult Dark Winged Fungus Gnats feeding from blossoms.

Fungus Gnats, we believe

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Parade of insects in slime?
Location: Hillsboro, Virginia
July 8, 2016 8:47 am
I saw this streak of ‘slime’ on my sidewalk yesterday, about 1/2″ wide and 8″ long which was moving slowly as if flowing forward. It was composed of tiny whitish oblong insects, maybe smaller than a grain of rice which were moving forward in unison in this ‘matrix of ooze’
Photo shows streak of slime on sidewalk. The colors are about the same. I took a short movie of the movement but the file is too large to send.
Hope you can help.
Signature: Sandy

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Dear Sandy,
These are Fungus Gnat Larvae in the family Sciaridae.  According to BugGuide:  “Sometimes abundant enough to form a crawling mass of several inches across and several feet long, similar to armyworm migrations. Can be pests in greenhouses and in commercially grown mushrooms.”

Oh my GOSH!!!!  Thank you so much for the quick answer.  I will use you again.  How very interesting.  I will search for more about them.
Thank you thank you.
Sandy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: swarm of caterpillars
Location: Fairfax, VA
July 21, 2015 11:40 am
This has got to be the most unusual behavior I’ve ever seen – a swarm of small (5 – 8 mm in length), translucent caterpillars, slowly moving across a sidewalk (to get to the other side, of course!) in a stream nearly the width of the sidewalk, with a depth of several individuals. I did not see it from the beginning, but I estimate it took about 15 minutes for them to reach the other side. It was most similar to watching schooling fish, but in slow motion. I assume this is adaptive behavior for the same reason as schooling and herds? This was at 8 AM on a very humid day, if relevant. Any idea as to species? Have you heard of this before? Is swarm the right term?
Signature: Seth

Fungus Gnat Larvae Aggregation

Fungus Gnat Larvae Aggregation

Dear Seth,
This fascinating phenomenon is an aggregation of Fungus Gnat Larvae in the family Sciaridae.  We generally reserve the term swarm for winged species while in flight.

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Fungus Gnat Larvae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination