Monday, 4 January 2016

Winter gnats (Trichocera sp)


A sunny day after rain and our stream is flowing again from Merry Heaven Farm, through Filnore Woods towards Vilner Lane.


If you look hard you may be able to make out a cloud of Winter Gnats hovering in the sunlight above the stream.  I couldn't get them to stay still and smile, AND the camera was pointing into the sun.  That's why they showed up so nicely.  Here is a crop of the above photo, showing little beige dots, which are the gnats.


And another shot below.  They are like tiny crane flies.  The males do this aerial dance to attract females.  The eggs are laid in decaying wood and fungi, where the tiny larvae feed.  



They are called winter gnats because they are more common in winter, but they can be found all the year round.

Winter gnats are attracted to light but they do not bite.  Enjoy the dance display if you see them.





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