Indoor plant soil gnats

Indoor plant soil gnats

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Indoor plant soil gnats are common in most environments and they are the second most abundant animal in the atmosphere after house flies. They are also known as "plant mites" and "plantlice" due to their resemblance to spiders and insects respectively. They feed on pollen, dander, and other organic materials as well as fungi and algae.

Gnat is the common name for the insect order Protura, of which there are about 1,000 species. There are also some related groups called "Nematocera" and "Auchenorrhyncha".

Nematoceratinae and Protura

The Nematoceratinae are a subfamily of the order Protura, and include some of the common house fly mimics.


Many species of plant growth-promoting bacteria have been isolated from these insects.

Indoor plants with indoor soil gnats

Some plants thrive with indoor soil gnats. The best known and most studied example is the common house fly. This insect has been known to thrive on many species of indoor houseplants, and has been used for indoor pest control by commercial growers for centuries. Many people associate the house fly with indoor environments and view it as a pest. Although it is not, the house fly is an important pest only because of the wide variety of its indoor plant-associated bacteria.


Protura is a genus of the subfamily Nematoceratinae of the order Protura. The nematoceratines are among the most abundant insects in indoor environments and the housefly is a major component of the subfamily.

Protura nematocera is a subfamily of the insect order Protura. It is also known as the Nematoceratinae or Protuloceratinae. It is also considered a subfamily of the superfamily Entomobryoidea, but the status of these two groups is uncertain. The nematoceratines occur worldwide, and they feed on decaying plant matter, detritus, and dead animals, and are common indoor pests. They thrive best in microclimate environments, such as inside buildings, and inside plants.

Many species of Protura inhabit indoor environments. The number of species is growing rapidly as more are described. As of January 2013, there were 1,769 species of Protura known. Species that are associated with house flies include Protura chichijimanae and Protura cyaneiventris.



The house fly, Musca domestica, is a member of the order Diptera, and has subfamilies Psilidae and Muscidae. Musca domestica is best known for its role in the food service industry, specifically for its involvement in the transmission of disease, the production of feces, and the pollination of flowers.



The scale insect, Anoplolepis gracilipes, is a member of the order Hemiptera, and the family Coccoidea.



The common crane fly (Tipula paludosa) is a trichopteran.




The cuckoo moth, Chrysina glorifica, is a member of the family Chrysidae.


The spined soldierfly, Pachygaster cymaeformis, is a member of the family Gelechiidae.


The marsh fritillary, Agelaia urticae, is a member of the family Libellulidae.


The common carpet moth, Stenoma chloromeuta, is a member of the family Aepycerotidae.


The willow caterpillar, Sibine wagneri, is a member of the family Nepticulidae.

See also

List of orders in Diptera

External links

Insect Taxonomy - The Tree of Life web project, University of California, San Diego

Category:Taxa named by Johan Christian Fabricius

Category:Diptera articles needing expert attention

Category:Lepidoptera articles needing expert attention


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