eye gnat

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eye gnat

any small fly of the family Chloropidae (order Diptera), destructive to oats, rye, barley, wheat, and other cereal grains. Frit flies, often bright yellow and black, are usually found in grassy areas. The larvae live in developing grain heads and within stems, causing the central leaf to wilt. Some frit flies are carriers of conjunctivitis and yaws. They breed in decaying vegetation and excrement and feed on pus, blood, and other animal fluids. Because some frit flies (for example, Hippelates) are attracted to the eyes, they are called eye gnats.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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