August 9th, Campbell River. 9:45 PM. The sunset had faded and we had returned to our motel room in the dark. We settled down to read until bedtime. Then a tiny speck of white wandered across the table in front of Laurie. He called me over; at first I couldn't see what he was pointing at. It was so tiny, almost transparent, blending in perfectly to the blond wood tabletop.
Once I'd seen it, capturing it was easy; it walked on its own straight into my little bottle. I went for the camera.
Now there was a problem. The motel didn't come equipped with movable lighting. Nor had I brought my usual lamps. And flash with a white bug just doesn't work. But I remembered that Laurie had a tiny dollar-store flashlight; maybe if I got it close enough to the critter, it would work.
Again, my subject was co-operative. Released from captivity and deposited on a paper towel in front of the flashlight, it walked right up to the glass, and sat on the rim.
|The rim is 2 mm. wide, which makes the fly about 2.25 mm long.|
|Such a pale, hairy little beastie! With black feet and dotted-line antennae.|
It's a moth fly, in the Family Psychodidae, subfamily Psychodinae. I've looked through all BugGuide's photos and didn't find one with this wing pattern, but everything else matches.
I have found one of this family at home in Delta, but it was much darker:
|The same size, shape, and hairiness. The same cute antennae.|
Interesting notes from BugGuide:
- Moth flies (Psychodinae): adults ... are attracted to light;
- adults feed in polluted water and on flower nectar;
- ... very weak fliers, covering only a few feet at a time in short erratic flights. Outside, they can be blown considerable distances by the wind.
- They lay their eggs in the gelatinous film that coats the inside of drains, especially in bathtubs and showers;
- the larvae feed on algae, fungi and bacteria in sewage and organic sludge.