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Aquatic Flies? - Dasyhelea - female

Aquatic Flies? - Dasyhelea - Female
Fremont, California, USA
March 27, 2010
Size: 1/8-1/6 inch
Found these interesting flies (2 wings for sure) on some algae I've been growing outside. The bloated ones are apparently females (filled with eggs?). They seem to be at least semi-aquatic. No larvae were found. Eggs are the masses of little black dots.

Moved from Biting Midges.

Moved from Flies.

Moved from ID Request.

The arched thorax with three stripes reminds me of midges. They usually wouldn't live long enough to be killed by fungus.

Would anything in
Bibionomorpha be possible?

Don't know
The leading edge of the wing is darkened which is rare in midges. Antennae might be too short for a gnat; I'm not sure. The thorax seems to be too arched for a gnat. A slightly closer view, especially of wings, might help.

look very similar to those of ceratopogonids--does that make any sense? I sure would have thought these were fungus victims. Fungi are pretty darn clever; given that some have managed to specialize in periodical cicadas, it wouldn't surprise me if some have adapted to attacking short-lived biting midges. Were these moving around, Brian?

These are definitely ceratopogonids, and females at that. Rather than fungus-ridden, many female ceratopogonids are tick-like and engorge on lots of blood (or probaby insect hemolymph in this case) and have to walk away to lay eggs. I have seen many similar photos of grossly-bloated abdomens in these flies before...

I had no idea that these could even be alive in this state!

Re: Eggs
Hmm, the normal-looking (apparently uninfested) gnats/flies were moving around, but the infested ones weren't. They could be dead.

Watch for larvae--my idea of Ceratopogonidae (biting midges) is based on the tentative ID of this larva, which came from a similar egg mass:

Also, I just noticed this is your first submission--welcome!--so you probably haven't come across this page, on which we've collected all the images of insects and spiders that have been attacked by fungi. Scroll through it and you'll see some similar ones. I just added yours to the end of the fly section.

Any pictures of
the live ones?

something covered with fungus?

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