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Midges, Gnats and Crane Flies (Nematocera)

Gnats are the most primitive Diptera. Compared to flies they have longer antennae. They are more slender than flies and usually have much smaller eyes, except for the males of Fever Flies. Gnats are responsible for spreading a number of serious diseases, such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever. The mosquitoes in Western Europe and the USA do not carry any of these diseases, but there are irritating biters among them. Most gnats, such as the green species and the woodgnats, are harmless and will never bite you at all. Some gnats may be seen in large groups, dancing over the pond. Some species even do so in the middle of winter.

Among the flies and mosquitoes in Europe crane-flies are striking, because they are much bigger than the other Diptera flies. The biggest Crane-fly of them all, a tropical species, may reach 7 centimetres (or 2.8"). Crane-flies do not sting people, as a matter of fact most adults don't even eat at all. The larvae of some species however eat grassroots, thus causing brown patches in the lawn or meadows. Farmers and gardeners are not fond of these larvae, better known as leather-jackets, at all. Luckily some species of birds, especially the Rook and the Black-headed Gull, are fond of them and also Hedgehogs will eat them when given a chance. In Western Europe there are well over 100 species in the genus Tipula alone, and many of them are very hard to identify.


photograph Tipula lateralis
Tipula lateralis

Tipula lateralis is one of the few Crane Flies showing a light line on the back. More...


Family: Crane Flies (Tipulidae)


photograph Tipula vernalis
Tipula vernalis

Tipula vernalis has beautiful green eyes. More...


Family: Crane Flies (Tipulidae)


photograph European Crane Fly
European Crane Fly Tipula paludosa

The European Crane Fly can be extremely devastating in grass lands. More...


Family: Crane Flies (Tipulidae)


photograph Tipula luna
Tipula luna

Tipula luna has small white markings in the wings. More...


Family: Crane Flies (Tipulidae)


photograph Tipula lunata
Tipula lunata

Tipula lunata is orange and has the body curled up towards the end. More...


Family: Crane Flies (Tipulidae)


photograph Nephrotoma pratensis
Nephrotoma pratensis

Nephrotoma pratensis is one of the so-called Tiger Crane Flies. More...


Family: Crane Flies (Tipulidae)


photograph Nephrotoma analis
Nephrotoma analis

Nephrotoma analis has a distinctive marking on it's head. More...


Family: Crane Flies (Tipulidae)


photograph Spotted Crane Fly
Spotted Crane Fly Nephrotoma appendiculata

The Spotted Crane Fly is one of the very few Tiger Crane flies with a vernacular name. More...


Family: Crane Flies (Tipulidae)


photograph Ctenophora festiva
Ctenophora festiva

Ctenophora festiva is an impressive Crane Fly, but not a British species. More...


Family: Crane Flies (Tipulidae)


photograph Ptychoptera contaminata
Ptychoptera contaminata

The larvae of Ptychoptera contaminata live submerged. More...


Family: Ptychopterid craneflies (Ptychopteridae)


photograph 
Limonia nubeculosa
Limonia nubeculosa

Limonia nubeculosa looks like a Crane Fly, but actually belongs to a related family called the Limoniid Crane Flies. More...


Family: Limoniid Crane Flies (Limoniidae)


photograph Limonia nigropunctata
Limonia nigropunctata

Limonia nigropunctata is a beautiful black and orange species. More...


Family: Limoniid Crane Flies (Limoniidae)


photograph Limnophila pictipennis
Limnophila pictipennis

Limnophila pictipennis is only seen near water. More...


Family: Limoniid Crane Flies (Limoniidae)


photograph Epiphragma ocellaris
Picture Winged Crane Fly Epiphragma ocellaris

A rebel among the Crane Flies is this Picture Winged Crane Fly. It has tattoos all over its wings. More...


Family: Limoniid Crane Flies (Limoniidae)


photograph 
Dicranomyia species
Dicranomyia species Dicranomyia sp

Not rare, but often unnoticed, this Dicranomyia species appears in spring. More...


Family: Limoniid Crane Flies (Limoniidae)


photograph 
Culiseta annulata
Culiseta annulata

Culiseta annulata is the biggest blood-sucking mosquito in Western Europe. More...


Family: Gnats or Mosquitoes (Culicidae)


photograph 
House Mosquito
House Mosquito Culex pipiens

The House Mosquito can be a real pest. More...


Family: Gnats or Mosquitoes (Culicidae)


photograph 
Window Gnat
Window Gnat Sylvicola fenestralis / Sylvicola cinctus

The Window Gnat comes in two colours: black and grey like this one, or... More...


Family: Wood Gnats (Anisopodidae)


photograph 
Window Gnat
Window Gnat Sylvicola fenestralis / Sylvicola cinctus

...red. Yet it is one of two species, both appearing in both colours. More...


Family: Wood Gnats (Anisopodidae)


photograph 
True Wood Gnat species
True Wood Gnat species, male Chironomidae sp

This is an unidentified male True Wood Gnat. More...


Family: True Wood Gnats (Chironomidae)


photograph 
True Wood Gnat species
True Wood Gnat species, female Chironomidae sp

And this is an unidentified True Wood Gnat female. More...


Family: True Wood Gnats (Chironomidae)


photograph 
Blood Worm species
Blood Worm species Chironomus sp

This is a Blood Worm species. The adults are green, the larvae are red. More...


Family: True Wood Gnats (Chironomidae)


photograph 
Small Fever Fly
Small Fever Fly, male Bibio lanigerus

The male of the Small Fever Fly is small and has very big eyes. More...


Family: St Marks Flies or Fever Flies (Bibionidae)


photograph 
Small Fever Fly
Small Fever Fly, female Bibio lanigerus

The female of the Small Fever Fly doesn't look like the male at all. More...


Family: St Marks Flies or Fever Flies (Bibionidae)


photograph 
St Marks Flies
St Marks Fly Bibio sp

It is virtually impossible to identify the black species of St Mark's Flies. More...


Family: St Marks Flies or Fever Flies (Bibionidae)


photograph 
St Marks Flies
Psychoda surcoufi

Psychoda surcoufi is a silvry white moth fly. There is one black spot in the edge of the wing. More...


Family: Moth Flies (Psychodidae)


photograph 
Pericoma sp
Pericoma species Pericoma sp

Almost all Pericoma species are greyish and have white spots. More...


Family: Moth Flies (Psychodidae)


photograph 
Ceratopogonidae sp
No-see-ums species Ceratopogonidae sp

The No-see-ums are extremely small midges biting like hell. More...


Family: Biting Midges (Ceratopogonidae)


photograph 
Mycetophilidae sp
Fungus Gnat species Mycetophilidae sp

The Fungus Gnats are not the best known insects in the world. More...


Family: Fungus Gnats (Mycetophilidae)


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This page has last been modified on Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
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