gnat


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gnat,

common name for any one of a number of small, fragile-looking two-winged flies of the suborder Nematocera, order Diptera, which includes the families Tipulidae (crane fliescrane fly,
true fly resembling a mosquito, often called daddy longlegs because of its six long, delicate legs. (The harvestman, also called daddy longlegs, belongs to an unrelated order.) Most species of crane flies have a single pair of wings and slender bodies.
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), Bibionidae (hairflies), Ceratopogonidae (biting midgesmidge,
name for any of numerous minute, fragile flies in several families. The family Chironomidae consists of about 2,000 species, most of which are widely distributed. The herbivorous larvae are found in all freshwaters; the larvae of some species live in saltwater.
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), Chironomidae (true midges), Cecidomyidae (gall midges), Simuliidae (black fliesblack fly,
name for any of the flies of the family Simuliidae. The black fly is about 1-8 in. (3.2 mm) long and has large eyes, short legs, a stout, humped back, broad gauzy wings, and piercing-sucking mouthparts.
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), Culicidae (mosquitoesmosquito
, small, long-legged insect of the order Diptera, the true flies. The females of most species have piercing and sucking mouth parts and apparently they must feed at least once upon mammalian blood before their eggs can develop properly.
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), and others. They often assemble together in large mating swarms. In England mosquitoes are called gnats; in the United States it is chiefly the smaller forms of Diptera, especially irritating because of their great numbers and their vicious biting habits, that are referred to as gnats. All gnats have long, hairlike antennae, which are particularly well-developed in the males. Gnat larvae are free-living, most feeding on plants. Larval plant feeders, e.g., the Hessian flyHessian fly,
European gall gnat, Phytophaga destructor, so named because it was first observed in America shortly after the Hessian troops landed on Long Island in the American Revolution. It is one of the most destructive pests of wheat, barley, and rye.
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 larvae, cause root, stem, and leaf galls to be formed by the host plant. Some species of fungus gnats (families Mycetophilidae and Sciaridae) are very common pests of mushrooms and roots of potted plants in homes and greenhouses. One group of dipterans (family Chloropidae) of the suborder Cyclorrhapha are commonly called eye gnats, or eye flieseye fly,
common name for a group of small flies of the family Chloropidae. Eye flies are common in parts of California and in the S United States. They inhabit grasslands and meadows and breed mainly on decaying matter and excrement.
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. Gnats are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Diptera.

gnat

[nat]
(invertebrate zoology)
The common name for a large variety of biting insects in the order Diptera.

gnat

chicken-sized insect that tells Alice all about other strange insects. [Br. Lit.: Lewis Carroll Through the Looking-glass]
See: Insect

gnat

any of various small fragile biting dipterous insects of the suborder Nematocera, esp Culex pipiens (common gnat), which abounds near stagnant water

Gnat

(language, tool)
An Ada compiler written in Ada using the gcc code generator to allow easy porting to a variety of platforms. Gnat is the only Ada compiler that completely implements the Ada standard, including all the annexes.

The compiler is released under the GNU license and is currently maintained by Ada Core Technologies (ACT).

http://gnat.com/.
References in classic literature ?
Then Danhasch, in his turn, took the form of a gnat and bit the princess on her lip.
When the gnat had heard that, she flew away again, and revealed everything, down to the minutest detail, to the willow-wren.
the Gnat went on, as quietly as if nothing had happened.
Margaret seemed to find it a little hard to tell hers, and waved a brake before her face, as if to disperse imaginary gnats, while she said slowly, "I should like a lovely house, full of all sorts of luxurious things--nice food, pretty clothes, handsome furniture, pleasant people, and heaps of money.
These dogs had a rather dry time of it; for they were tied to the benches and had no amusement for an hour or two at a time except what they could get out of pawing at the gnats, or trying to sleep and not succeeding.
The postilions, with a thousand gossamer gnats circling about them in lieu of the Furies, quietly mended the points to the lashes of their whips; the valet walked by the horses; the courier was audible, trotting on ahead into the dun distance.
The wild scene about me lay sleeping silently under the sun, and the only sound near me was the thin hum of some small gnats that had discovered me.
The air was free from gnats, the earth from weeds or fungi; everywhere were fruits and sweet and delightful flowers; brilliant butterflies flew hither and thither.
Skirting along the north fork for a day or two, excessively annoyed by musquitoes and buffalo gnats, they reached, in the evening of the 17th, a small but beautiful grove, from which issued the confused notes of singing birds, the first they had heard since crossing the boundary of Missouri.
I know what they'll turn to--stinging gnats, stinging gnats.
The humming of the gnats that danced above the eddies of the stream, the beating of the dragon flies' wings, the strokes of the water spiders' legs, like oars which had lifted their boat -- all these made audible music.
Once we put him in a little chaise and drove him triumphantly through the green lanes for five miles; but all at once, as we were extolling him to the skies, he seemed to take it ill that he should have been accompanied so far by the circle of tantalizing little gnats that had been hovering round and round his ears the whole way without appearing to advance an inch, and stopped to think about it.