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  #1  
Old 01-24-2000, 10:18 AM
welby welby is offline
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I was hiking the Appalachian trail a couple of years ago and was besieged by hordes of gnats. The little monsters swarmed around me, and I swear one or two took a bite out of my arm. Am I on their regular diet? Conversely, I managed to inhale a few gnats while walking. Is that healthy? Are they, perhaps, nutritious? How much protein is in the average gnat?
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2000, 10:23 AM
AWB AWB is offline
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I thought gnats were so short-lived that they didn't need food.

Either that, or they eat ear wax. It seems every time I go camping, they go straight for my ears when I'm trying to sleep.

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Judges 14:9 - So [Samson] scraped the honey into his hands and went on, eating as he went. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them and they ate it; but he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey out of the body of the lion.
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2000, 10:24 AM
Diceman Diceman is offline
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Well, various cultures eat insects as part of their regular diet, so they can't be bad for you. Of course, most of these cultures are also so poor that a cheeseburger would be a luxury. Anyways, gnats are so damn small that you'd have to inhale them all day to get any meaningfull amount of protein from them.

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  #4  
Old 01-24-2000, 10:58 AM
Rysdad Rysdad is offline
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I remember being embattled with those flying incisors on the golf course one day. They actually bite out a little chunk and leave a bloody spot that itches.

Too bad they can't be genetically rearranged to attack horseflies or mosquitos.
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2000, 11:18 AM
CurtC CurtC is offline
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On a related note, I've often wondered what mosquitoes eat. As I understand it, only females bite us, because they use the blood to nourish their eggs. So what do they (and the males) eat for themselves?
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2000, 11:21 AM
handy handy is offline
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After gnats eat, do they have to poop? Isn't there an expression, 'tight as a gnat's ass?'
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2000, 11:36 AM
TBone2 TBone2 is offline
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Handy:
I work in highway construction as a grading foreman. The expression "gnat's ass" is common there as an expression of accuracy. "Right on the gnat's ass" to us means that the grade elevation is damned close.

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  #8  
Old 01-24-2000, 12:48 PM
neuro-trash grrrl neuro-trash grrrl is offline
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When you see a bunch of gnats buzzing about in a great cloud, what you are seeing, if I'm not mistaken, is a great airborne insectile orgy. When they're not mating, I suspect they live on microscopic bits of dust and bacteria and the like, same as other flies. Why they bit the OP, I don't know. Perhaps they were annoyed at being interrupted. As for the question of what mosquitoes eat, I seem to recall reading somewhere (perhaps it was Cecil's column, I really don't remember) that mosquitoes, when they don't drink blood, usually subsist on flower nectar, kind of like bees.

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  #9  
Old 01-24-2000, 02:51 PM
Satan Satan is offline
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I always assumed they ate outfielders.

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Yer pal,
Satan
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2000, 03:58 PM
Sofa King Sofa King is offline
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While it may very well be the most beatiful place on earth that I have yet seen, the west coast of the south island of New Zealand is home to the most obnoxious, persistent, numerous, and painful little bastard bugs I know.

Blithely dismissed by the locals as "sand flies," or something like that, I literally had my bare legs transformed into bloody, itching instruments of torture in fifteen minutes on the beach. I can guarantee you that these sonsabitches live on blood.

Anyone know if these critters are relatives of black flies? Could they be the same critter, unfortunately transported from one place to the other?

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  #11  
Old 01-25-2000, 01:15 AM
Arnold Winkelried Arnold Winkelried is offline
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Well, I remembered that Alice, when she went through the looking glass, had a conversation with a gnat. But the gnat didn't say what it ate, however it revealed the following information: The Rocking-horse-fly eats sap and sawdust. The snap-dragon-fly eats frumenty and mince pie. And the Bread-and-Butterfly lives on weak tea with cream in it.

Anyway, gnats can bite people or animals, according to the article below.

Dec. 20, 1996 - NORTH EAST TEXANS MAY GET BILLIONS OF BLACK FLIES FOR CHRISTMAS
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  #12  
Old 01-25-2000, 01:15 AM
Alphagene Alphagene is offline
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Here's Cecil's article about gnat orgies.

According to Cecil, gnats usually refer to members of the Trypetidae family. These are one type of fruit fly. So guess what they eat.

However, Encyclopedia Britanica says that "gnat" is often applied to any small flying insect. Some of which are blood suckers, other are fungus eaters and still others are militant vegans.

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  #13  
Old 01-25-2000, 01:27 AM
WIGGUM WIGGUM is offline
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Here's some more info on the little bastards.

http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortn...1993/ouch.html
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  #14  
Old 01-25-2000, 01:29 AM
Oblio Oblio is offline
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I remember seeing a native swirl a fine mesh net through a cloud of midges. The midges would be gathered up into patties and made into midgeburgers.

a) I swear I saw this on TV - Disc. TLC etc.
b) I can't recall where it was - Rain forest IIRC
c) Bob Eubanks was NOT there

Anyone else recall seeing this ?
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2000, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Anyway, gnats can bite people or animals, according to the article below.

Dec. 20, 1996 - NORTH EAST TEXANS MAY GET BILLIONS OF BLACK FLIES FOR CHRISTMAS
We are blessed with the same little horrors here in southeastern CT. These critters are a pair of jaws hooked to a suction tube and stomach, with just enough wing area to fly while empty.
Their usual method is to bite a hunk of skin out, and inject some nasty crap that makes it impossible for the blood to clot. They then slurp up as much blood as they can before being driven off by the hapless victim.
I had one bite my scalp while hiding in my hair (back when I still had some), and it became so engorged that it couldn't fly. I had gone into the house for something, and was looking in the bathroom mirror, thought there was a piece of dirt in my hair. I brushed it away with my hand, and was amazed to see the "dirt" whizzing around and around in the sink, trying to get airborne. When I mashed it, there was a blood spot in the sink the size of a nickel.
The reason they fly in your ears is because in there they can feed without being squashed, and possibly get away. I have actually had to resort to sticking cotton in my ears to keep the spawn of hell insects out.
Smoke will deter them, and I've found that the brown icicles hanging from my woodstove chimney in the really cold weather may be collected, melted, and stored in a jar to be rubbed on the skin when working outdoors in the spring. The smell is horrendous, but preferrable to being eaten. I can shower afterward and wash off the smoky stuff, but not the zillion itchy bleeding bumps the blackflies would've left me with.
Jeez, I hate those little critters. Just thinking about them makes me itch! ::::scratch, scratch, scratch::::: Dang it!

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  #16  
Old 01-25-2000, 10:01 AM
Diceman Diceman is offline
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You guys must be talking about different gnats than the ones that live in Michigan. The ones around here are annoying, but almost never bite. These gnats probably live on nectar or berry juice or somesuch. As for the odd one that does bite, well they are mating during swarming. Maybe they're just kinky . Rest assured, however, the Great Lakes State has its share of dedicated bloodsuckers. In the Lower Peninsula we have mosquitos, while the Upper gets to deal with black flies. But the gnats are just......there.

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  #17  
Old 01-25-2000, 11:06 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Gnot much, I presume.

BTW, you folks know how small towns have their various "fests."

Well, the lovely town of Hahira GA has adopted as its "fest" the annual "Gnat Festival."
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  #18  
Old 01-25-2000, 11:17 AM
Mr.Zambezi Mr.Zambezi is offline
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Then Harira must be below Georgia's famous "Gnat Line." I wonder how the gnats cross the line and get into the northern states.

real question: When you smash a gnat in your eye, why does your eye swell up. Do they have a toxin in them?
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  #19  
Old 01-25-2000, 08:05 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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All ordinary gnats are members of a sinister political party. They are Gnatzis!

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With magic, you can turn a frog into a prince. With science, you can turn a frog into a Ph.D, and you still have the frog you started with.
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  #20  
Old 01-26-2000, 08:21 AM
welby welby is offline
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Bosda, in some countries it would be legal to hurt you for that.
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  #21  
Old 01-26-2000, 10:45 AM
Vestal Blue Vestal Blue is offline
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They eat smaller Gnats.

I remember summers in central Texas, and these little flies that looked like specks of soot; an apt analogy as when they bit it felt like a hot ember!

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VB

Remember, you can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish!
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