Trichoceridae - Winter-gnats

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Classification

NEMATOCERA, Psychodomorpha, Trichoceroidea

Number of British species: 10

Size: M

Difficulty: 2-3

Scheme: Covered by the Cranefly recording scheme

Characters

Small to medium sized (3-9 mm), generally light coloured Nematocera, with long slender antennae, wings, legs and abdomen. Ocelli present; antenna with 18 segments. Wing with a short, curved vein A2, the longest in Diazosma. Tibiae with terminal bristles or spurs. Female of Trichocera with a more or less downward curving ovipositor.

Biology

The larvae are terrestrial and saprophagous, living in moist earth, rotting vegetable matter, under bark of fallen coniferous trees, mushrooms and bracket fungi, carrion (including human corpses), excrement, etc. The adults of Trichocera are active from autumn to spring, throughout the winter (“winter gnats”), with especially the females found walking on snow. Adults of Diazosma occur mainly in summer and early autumn. The males have a characteristic bouncing flight and often form swarms, in particular on sunny days.

Identification

 
families/nematocera/trichoceridae.txt · Last modified: 2008/05/24 17:00 (external edit)     Back to top
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