27 February 2014

Fungus gnats

These fungus gnats (true flies in the Family Mycetophilidae) were living on the mushrooms of Agrocybe parasitica; the fungus was infesting a lacebark (Hoheria sp.). The flies are tiny, so I’ve cropped the original photographs heavily; I’ve also rotated them to provide a better view (these individuals were  upside down on the membrane that covers the gills of the fungus during the early stages of its development). Identifying mycetophilids is difficult without examining them under a microscope (and being able to interpret arcane literature!), but I have it on good authority that these are probably in the genus Mycetophila.
[27 February 2014, Olympus OM-D EM-1, 60 mm f2.8 Macro , ISO 200, 1/200 at f8 with diffused flash]

All content © 2014 Pete McGregor


Relatively Retiring said...

.....and what excellent reference material!

Relatively Retiring said...

P.S. Those hairy legs are impressive. Do the whiskers have a function? It looks as if the legs are telescopic.

pohanginapete said...

Thank you, RR. Those whiskers on the legs might have some sensory function, but that's just a guess. I don't even know whether anyone's investigated their function. Usually, the function of spines and bristles like these is inferred from their structure rather than observed directly.