Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Anisopodidae - Wood Gnats

Hi-altitude chocolate milk fly - Sylvicola alternatus - female Wood Gnat - Sylvicola Wood Gnat - Sylvicola Pesky Fly - Sylvicola alternatus Proverbial Fly on the Wall - Sylvicola alternatus - female Fly - Sylvicola window gnat - Sylvicola fenestralis wood gnat - Sylvicola
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Nematocera" (Non-Brachycera))
Infraorder Bibionomorpha (Gnats, Gall Midges, and March Flies)
Family Anisopodidae (Wood Gnats)
Other Common Names
window gnats (in part)
Explanation of Names
Anisopodidae Knab 1912
from Anisopus, 'having dissimilar feet'
Numbers
9 spp. in 3 genera in our area(1), ~200 spp. in 24 genera total(2)
Size
4-8 mm
Identification
mosquito-like but proboscis shorter than head; usually dark spots on wings
Range
worldwide distribution
Habitat
larvae found in or near decaying wood or vegetation, fermenting sap, animal manure, tree trunks, mud, and sometimes sewage
adults found on foliage or around flowing sap in or near damp places; sometimes seen in swarms and may be attracted to light