For the last few months, on certain days I find numerous small fly-like (?) insects on the inside of the summer house window panes. They seem harmless, but I wonder what they are, and where they could come from. They are only 2-3mm in lenght, and have a distinctly passive (not to say pathetic) outlook to life: they crawl around slowly and don't seem to react much to any form of handling. They look like this:
Can anyone enlighten me as to their identity? Thanks!
I think you have fungus gnats.
These are sometimes called sciarid flies. However, although some of them belong in the Sciaridae family, there are other families containing species loosely called fungus gnats.
It would not be possible to identify your fungus gnats precisely from your photo. I am hoping 'fungus gnat' will be a good enough identification!
They can seem patheticly passive. But they can fly, and when they are flying in front of you, they can be surprisingly annoying. It is something about their movement.
There is lots of information on the internet, eg.
I'm pretty sure it's an aphid - you can see the cornicles sticking out the back of the abdomen. Narrowing down the ID beyond that is impossible from this photo but if you can get a better one, showing the cornicles clearly, it might be possible to give, or suggest at least, an ID
Good point jaguarondi, I see what you mean; and the 'crawling around' is obviously aphid-like.
However, I thought it looked too waisted for an aphid. And I think one or both of those 'cornicles' are actually the ends of the rear leg(s) on the other side. Also, their occurrence on window panes seemed relatively un-aphidic.
- Any chance of some more photos?, eg. from above.
- Are there plants in the summer house? If so, are the insects on them, too?
- Are there pots just containing soil (or soild and dead plants) in the summer house? If so, are the insects on/in the soil?
Thanks, Mike and jaguarondi! Comparing with reference pictures for your suggestions, it seems certain my guests are aphids - cornicles included. Here's another pic:
There are no plants in the summer house, but I think I just found (and removed) the culprit: a bit of ivy having poked its way under the roof. It was jam-packed with aphids in every state of life and death, surrounded by spiderwebs sticky with fallen honeydew. Quite a sight. Once inside, the less gluey individuals must have been making their way for the brightness of the window panes.