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Photo#14507
Dark-winged fungus gnat?

Dark-winged fungus gnat?
Springfield, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA
April 2, 2005
Size: ~2mm
An extremely minute fly, about 2mm in length, that landed on my desk. I was lucky to have it stay put long enough for me to take a picture, and even luckier to have it spread its wings briefly. While the wings were not dark, it fit the general description for dark-winged fungus gnats (family Sciaridae) given in Borror and White (1), particularly the diagram of the wing veins on p. 271. Confirmation that its a Sciarid or other opinions would be appreciated.

 
Pfffff
I hate those people......

Sciaridae allright.
I'm certain this gnat belongs to the family Sciaridae.
The family Scatopsidae is a totally different family, in which for example the antenna are shorter and thick!
So if you have seen the genus Sciara in the family Scatopsidae, it was an old book where sciarids were incorporated in the Scatopsidae family! Look at this link for a picture of Scatopsidae:
http://www.hadleyweb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Scatopsidae/Apiloscatops/1/scatopsidae_1.htm
Greetings,
Gerard Pennards

Scatodsidae maybe?
Just looking at my copy of the old textbook by Boroor, Delong, and Triplehorn 4th ed 1976, the wing veination is close to Scaridae but looks like an exact match with a line drawing of a Sciara sp. in the family Scatopsidae.

Quoting from the book "these flies are black or brownish, 3mm in length or less and have short antennae (I would not consider the antennae in the picture above short but it is the same length as the picture in the book). The veins near the costal margin of the wing (C, R1, and Rs) are heavy, while the remaining veins are quite weak. ... The larva breed in decaying material and excrement. The group is a small one (61 North American species) but its members are sometimes abundant".

PS
I agree another great photo - particularly showing the wing veination.

 
Sciara
As Gerard discussed in his post, genus Sciara is considered part of family Scaridae, so I'm still guessing this insect is a dark-winged fungus gnat.

Furthermore, the behavioral description for Scaridae given at Terminix's website matches perfectly with this specimen. To quote, "they gravitate toward windows, attracted by sunlight, but may also fly about desks."

 
Sciaridae
I would like to blame my putting Sciara in with Scatopsidae on the age of the text book but it might have more to do with the age of my eyes. Yes the picture here matches well with the drawings of Sciara as I stated, but I associated it with the wrong family. Don't want anyone to think less of Borror et. al. They do indeed have it in Sciaridae, as the name would suggest. Sorry!

Richard, may I come over.........
.....and have you show me how to use a camera? Or at least copy down the model and lens details? What a fantastic photo of a tiny creature. The car is gassed up, an hour from Springfield!

 
Me too!
Hey, I am only 12+ hours away, can I come by too? I feel like a kid with a disposable camera compared to the shots you're getting:)

 
Thanks for the compliments
As I mentioned above, luck had a lot to do with the way this particular photo turned out, though using a 2X teleconverter and a 105mm true macro lens with a 50mm stacked lens helped, too :)

 
Equipment
It takes more than good equipment to create a great photograph--keep up the good work! (BTW, Van Gogh must have had a really good paintbrush, don't you think?) ;-)

Jay Cossey
Photographs From Nature

beauty shot
I just mentioned in the Forum about images of tiny arthropods, and how it would be nice to see more of them from people with capable equipment; good example here - keep it up.

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