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CLOSED: Tiny Wasp-Like Insect - Southern California

Burbank, CA

It's mid-February in the San Fernando Valley, just outside Los Angeles, and we're being inundated by dozens of these very small (about 1/4 inch long, at most), wasp like insects, which are apparently mating at this time of year. I couldn't get any photos that weren't backlit, but hopefully these will help. Any idea what these things are?

Thumbnail by harmlessgirl Thumbnail by harmlessgirl Thumbnail by harmlessgirl
Minot, ND

These are true flies of some sort, not wasps. They do not appear to be anything that you need worry about, but if you can get some images that are not backlit, I may be able to offer a more detailed i.d.

Burbank, CA

Quote from Flapdoodle :
These are true flies of some sort, not wasps. They do not appear to be anything that you need worry about, but if you can get some images that are not backlit, I may be able to offer a more detailed i.d.


Thanks, Flapdoodle! Do these pictures help at all?

Thumbnail by harmlessgirl Thumbnail by harmlessgirl
Minot, ND

Yes. These most likely are fungus gnats in the family Mycetophilidae - see http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/image/157175402 for an example.
These basically are nuisance pests that do no real harm; larvae of fungus gnats in the family Sciaridae (dark-winged fungus gnats) can damage tender plants.

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