Currently viewing the category: "Gnats"
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snow bugs
Dec 10, 2010
December 10, 2010 11:37 am
I really tried to identify the 3 bugs on the snow I sent 12/1/10. At least I went thru your website and bugguide… I’m thinking you haven’t had much luck either. The one looks like a mini cranefly to me and I thought the other 2 were springtails, but they were solitary critters, and they are all wrong anyway! Any website suggestions I might peruse further? I can’t believe how addicted to bugs I’ve become since I found your website looking for an aquatic larvae! Never found the exact one, but I’m pretty sure it was some kind of beetle. Love your site and thanks for doing so much so well.
Signature: Cathy Schabloski

I wouldn’t be nekkid out here…
Location: Tonasket WA, near Canada
December 1, 2010 4:43 pm
Amazing what is out on the snow, and so very tiny and frail! I found 3 different kinds today. It’s about 32F now, and last week it was -12F. I think this one is a type of springtail, but had no luck with the other 2. I left them for you to crop as I feared loss of whatever resolution there is.
Signature: Cathy

Snow Scorpionfly

If I had wings, I’d fly south
Location: Tonasket WA near Canada
December 1, 2010 5:02 pm
Sorry, couldn’t find her, she’s about 2mm long. Why do I think she’s a she? I’ts 32F here and was -12F last week. Do I have no more sense than a bug? Actually, we both must love it here! And I know if this bug knew about your site it would love it as much as I do and be in awe of all you do. Thank you everyone that helps.
Signature: Cathy

Fungus Gnat

ovipositer? snow?
Location: Tonasket WA near Canada
December 1, 2010 5:21 pm
I’m just guessing here, maybe a type of springtail? only 2mm or so. Who would believe something this small at 32F and last week it was -12F. Where do the eggs/larvae/babies hang out until it gets warm(!) enough to come out and play? I saw 3 differnt kinds today. I am constantly amazed, both at the world around me and what y’all do out of the goodness of your hearts and the love of bugs.
Signature: Cathy

Snow Scorpionfly in the genus Bores

Dear Cathy,
We apologize profusely.  We wrote you back the day after you sent the three snow insects and we indicated we would research you insects and post them.  We forgot.  It is the end of the semester and work is piling up and we failed to deliver.  We can tell you that none of your insects are Springtails, be we still need to research them.  The one you believe to be a Crane Fly is some species of fly, and we believe it may be a Gnat.   At least we have posted your photos and as we research, we would gladly welcome any input our readership may provide.  You might want to post a comment to the posting and you will be notified in the future if any experts are able to provide any information.

Update and Correction: Snow Scorpionfly perhaps
Hi again Cathy,
We believe the insect with the ovipositor may be a Snow Scorpionfly in the genus
Boreus.  You can check the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania website to compare the image of a female posted there.  BugGuide also has information on the Snow Scorpionflies in the genus Boreus including this description:  “Adults dark-colored with an elongated rostrum (“beak”), long antennae, vestigial wings, and long hind legs adapted to jumping; female has a straight ovipositor about the same length as the rostrum, and tapering to a point; males have a blunt rounded abdominal tip“.

Chen Young provides identifications
December 12, 2010
Good morning Daniel,
The two wingless images are not crane flies instead, they are Snow Scorpionflies in the genus Boreus, family Boreidae and order Mecoptera   I provided some short comparison in the crane fly website here for your informaiton   http://iz.carnegiemnh.org/cranefly/limoniinae.htm#Chionea
The fly with wings is a Fungus Gnat in the family Mycetophillidae.
Have a happy and safe holiday season.
Chen

Update
December 12, 2010
I had just come to the same conclusion about the scorpionflies, thanks to your recommended website. I wish I had had my camera today because I got to see the forked projections on the backside of the male, they can raise and fold them back down flat, and he has a sort of single “Mercury wing” coming off the back of his head. Thank you and Chen so much for your help.  Daniel, you certainly don’t need to apologize to me for being busy and forgetting a few things! Thank you again.
Cathy

Update:  Fungus Gnats can survive subzero conditions.
February 10, 2011
fungus gnat
February 10, 2011 7:58 pm
On 12/1/10 I asked you to identify what turned out to be a fungus gnat and male and female scorpion fly. I looked up the scorpionfly fly right away, probably because of the name… and found the heat of your hand can kill them! Well, I just looked up fungus gnat, and I don’t know if the one I read about is my exactr same one, but this tiny delicate thing can go to -60 and the abdomen freezes, but not the head! It will survive to -100. Here’s the website,http://alaskareport.com/news39/x71236_fungus_gnats.htm I’ve always liked bugs, but you and all your contributors have given me a new fascination for all of it! Thank you so very much.“
Signature: Cathy Schabloski

Thanks for the link and information Cathy.  This is fascinating.

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What bug is unseen to the eyes that invade?
February 2, 2010
What kind of bug bites hard, leaves whelpes, like a rash, but can’t be seen?
Not scappies! I thought dust mites but be treated for that and still have the problem. We thought flees, but have seen none! it’s at night when they attack, we thought maybe a nat or something.
Can you help me? DeAnn
los angeles

No-See-Ums, seriously.

Oh my God!  I first thought you were make’s fun of me, then I discover there really is a bug call no-see-ums, lol…  Thanks!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What are these?
May 28, 2009
Found two clumps of hundreds of these creatures outside on my patio, all moving together in the same general direction. They’re slimy, slippery…almost slug-like, but appear to be larvae of some sort.
Eric
Charlotte, North Carolina

Fungus Gnat Larvae Aggregation

Fungus Gnat Larvae Aggregation

Hi Eric,
We apologize for the lengthy delay.  We are trying to respond to some of our long overdue unanswered requests.  These are Fungus Gnat Larvae.  The Hydro Gardens website has some information.  You can also see a matching photo from Alaska on the Social Caterpillar website of Cortland facultyBugGuide also has a posting discussing the aggregations of the larvae of Dark Winged Fungus Gnats in the family Sciaridae.

Fungus Gnat Larvae Aggregation

Fungus Gnat Larvae Aggregation

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Strange White Larvae In Webbing Under Rock
November 21, 2009
Hi,
I’ve been using your site to identify insects ever since I discovered it a year ago. The work you guys do here is really amazing, especially encouraging people not to kill the insect for identification!
Please note that the image here was taken in September under a rock on the bare ground. There were none of these larva on the ground under the rock, they seemed to be confined to their ‘webbing’. I only took one photo unfortunately, as I figured they’d be pretty characteristic and easy to identify. This has not been the case so far…
Christie
Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Unidentified Mass of Larvae

Mass of Larvae: Fungus Gnats

Hi Christie,
Your image represents one of two letters with mystery larvae we just received.  We thought your example must be some species of fly, but our preliminary search drew a big blank.  We also entertained the possibility that they might be Flea larvae since they spin a silken cocoon, and though there is a resemblance, we cannot find any information indicating this degree of group habitation.  We will contact Eric Eaton in an attempt to give you an answer.  You might want to consider providing a comment to this posting online in the event that we get a response far in the future.

Unidentified Mass of Larvae

Mass of Larvae: Fungus Gnats

Eric Eaton Responds
Daniel:
I have now found several images of fungus gnat larvae on the ‘net that show a distinct head capsule.  They are well-known to spin silk or mucus, too, so that part fits.  There may be a species up in Canada that is colonial as suggested by the image, but that is a group of flies I am barely familiar with (families Mycetophilidae and Sciaridae).
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown Larvae Formations
September 24, 2009
We live in central TN and found these larvae formations around our driveway after heavy rains. Mostly seen in circular and abstract formations but always in clusters, never single larva alone. They also seem to stay in one location for long periods of time after patterns are formed. Their exterior has a translucent appearance rather than solid color and has a black tip or end. Do you know what this is?
Thanks for your help – Shannon
Central TN

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Hi Shannon,
We contacted Eric Eaton and here is what he had to say:  “Hi, Daniel:  Well, these must be the dumbest larvae in history to be going in a circle.  LOL!  They are the larvae of some kind of dark-winged fungus gnat, family Sciaridae.  The larvae of some species are well-known for their occasional, spectacular mass movements.
Eric

Fungus Gnat Larvae

Fungus Gnat Larvae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We’re in Fungus Gnat Hell
Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 9:13 PM
Is this some sort of Fungus Gnat? They act like a cross between a mosquito and a small fly. About the size of a mosquito, with long wings. But in flight much slower than any mosquito or fly (that is, I can swat one). They appear to have invaded us after an extended warm spell here in San Diego. They don’t seem to bite, and appear generally harmless, but worry that they’re a danger to the outdoor plants or citrus trees. My kids are freaking out b/c they think they are mosquitoes, lying in wait to torment them and suck their blood while they slumber…
Kel
Coastal San Diego

Fungus Gnat

Fungus Gnat

Dear Kel,
In our estimation, you are correct that this is a Dark Winged Fungus Gnat in the family Sciaridae.  Charles Hogue, in his book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, identifies a Root Gnat in this family, Bradysia impatiens, that also looks like your specimen.  Hogue writes:  “This is the tiny black gnat that flits in your face while you are watching television and that always seems to get stuck in fresh paint.  The larva lives in decaying plant material, such as compost, peat, and sphagnum;  it also commonly infests the roots and stems of various herbaceous plants.  The insect may develop in the media used for potted plants, which explains its mysterious appearance indoors.”

Fungus Gnat

Fungus Gnat

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination