Other Common Names
Grass Flies, Stem-miner Flies, Eye Gnats, Pecker Gnats
~280 spp. in our area, close to 3,000 spp. in ~200 genera worldwide(1)
Color variable, some species blackish or grayish, some brightly colored with black and yellow. Ocellar triangle usually large, shining.
Very common in meadows and grassy areas, though they may be found in a variety of habitats
In most spp., larvae feed on grass stems of the families Poaceae, Cyperaceae, and Typhaceae. Some are serious pests of cereals.
Some spp. are saprophages, scavengers, parasites, or predators.
Most hibernate as larvae; some hibernate as imagos.
Some spp. are attracted to the eyes (the so-called 'eye gnats,' vectors of yaws and pink eye)
Some are pollinators of orchids or Araceae flowers.