PaulChallinor's picture

Owl Midge

Observed: 4th October 2013 By: PaulChallinorPaulChallinor’s reputation in InvertebratesPaulChallinor’s reputation in InvertebratesPaulChallinor’s reputation in InvertebratesPaulChallinor’s reputation in Invertebrates

Tiny and very hairy midge. Thought it was a moth at first. Found in the vegetable patch in an urban south Wales garden.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Joe Botting's picture

These really need a close look

It's such a shame that psychodids are soooo difficult. I've looked into the key for them, and most need slide mounting and clearing to get anywhere. With so few people looking, though, I do wonder whether this is a group that a dedicated photographer could really get somewhere, with the help of a specialist to do the IDs (at least to start with). It's possible that with the new perspective from digital cameras they may be more identifiable as live specimens (at least at some level) than is normally thought...

Wildlife Ranger's picture

Drain Flies

How many British sp Jo I must admit I prefer the Moth Fly or owl Midge as a common name Drain Flies just dont do it


Joe Botting's picture


99 seems to be the accepted number, but the key warns that there are likely to be many more in the UK that aren't yet recognised.

They're an interesting group; most of them have non-functional mouthparts as adults, but a few species have a piercing tube. One feeds on the blood of amphibians, and a tropical group is known as sandflies... yes, those delightful things that spread leshmaniasis. Although I agree on the name 'drain fly' we did have them living in our shower in China, so it's obviously quite apt...

I might look into this a bit more, and then put something on forums about them.

PaulChallinor's picture

Thanks. Interesting comments

This explains why I had such difficulty in getting it even as close as I did. Are there any keys available on line - I didm;t come across any when I was trying to ID. I'm going to keep an eye out for more and see what I get with the camera, but they are so small I'm probably walking past them without noticing.

Joe Botting's picture

Small but perfectly formed...

I've started a forum topic about these, in the hope of drumming up a bit of interest.

It's definitely worth looking out for them in damp places - they're often resting on walls or vegetation around anywhere with stagnant water.