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Friday, February 06, 2009

Where No-See-Ums Hide when it Rains

A bunch of these tiny flies were all tucked up under the small leaves of my Aloysia wrightii. A year ago this oreganillo, or spicebush if you prefer, was nearly defoliated in mid-February, instead of being fully-foliaged-although-said-to-be-deciduous as seen here. Lucky for these midges, if that's what they are. Possibly classified among the family Chironomidae (non-biting midges), they are really small, have feathery antennae, a humpback, and are winter fliers. This one on my finger didn't bite, but is that conclusive? No-See-Ums, family Ceratopogoridae, include many types of teensy biting flies some of which have feathery antennae, too, as well as hump backs. Winter flier, now; does that refer to flies that fly based on daylength (short in winter everywhere) or temperature (rather ambiguous in my neck of the woods)? Anyway, the guys at NatHist of OC have what looks to be the same species posted, also as yet to be identified, here.

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