This one has “bugged” the BugLady for a while—a nemesis-bug. It photobombed shots of other insects and is so small (less than 1/8”) that the BugLady didn’t see it until she put a picture up on the screen, and then it defied identification. Turns out that it’s a fly (order Diptera) in the Biting Midge family Ceratopogonidae. BugFans from coast-to-coast who spend time outdoors in biting midge country may know them as no-see-ums, midgies, punkies, moose flies, pinyon gnats and a few more colorful names.
Fungus gnats are so-named because the offspring in some (but not all) of the families feast on fungi. Some groups are pests in gardens, agriculture, nurseries, and (overly wet) flowerpots, which generates bad PR for the whole group
The BugLady has been stalking invertebrates that hang out on the east wall of the Field Station lab. The wall is painted cinderblock that warms up in the morning and probably keeps some heat as it gets shaded in the afternoon. Grass grows right up to the edge of the building. The BugLady hypothesizes that bugs can enjoy the residual warmth without getting fried by the sun, because she sees some small critters on the north wall but very few on the bright south wall. She found some familiar faces and some new ones—plant-eaters and an array of carnivores that come to collect the herbivores.