Ptychoptera contaminata: a fungus gnat



We tend to think of gnats as being tiny, biting insects but actually, the family they belong to includes much larger, non-biting species such as crane flies and fungus gnats. This fungus gnat (Ptychoptera contaminata) is probably the most common of the fifty or so species of fungus gnat found in Britain.
One of seven fold winged fungus gnat species this one seems to have been injured as one of its wings is folded back along its body whist the other is sticking out to the side. The pattern of black dots on the wings is the best way to tell species apart.
They are called fungus gnats because their larvae, as opposed to the adults which are found in waterside vegetation, are found on fungi where some species feed on the fruiting body and spores whereas other species feed on other tiny insects that visit the fungus to eat.
Ptychoptera contaminata: a fungus gnat

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