Eye Gnats, Grass Flies, Eye Flies, Fruit Flies Liohippelates spp. (Insecta: Diptera: Chloropidae)
EDIS Cover Volume 2011 Number 5/6 Extension agent image
view on EDIS



How to Cite

Machtinger, Erika, and Phillip E. Kaufman. 2011. “Eye Gnats, Grass Flies, Eye Flies, Fruit Flies Liohippelates Spp. (Insecta: Diptera: Chloropidae): EENY485/IN884, 4/2011”. EDIS 2011 (5/6). Gainesville, FL. https://doi.org/10.32473/edis-in884-2011.


High concentrations of eye gnats are common in areas that have loose sandy soils, especially in the southern United States, and are a great nuisance to humans and animals in rural towns as well as agricultural, recreational, and tourist areas. While they do not bite, they can transmit several diseases to humans and livestock, including human acute conjunctivitis (pink eye). This 6-page fact sheet focuses broadly on two species that are common in the southeastern region of the United States, L. pusio and L. bishoppi (Sabrosky). Written by Erika Machtinger and Phillip E. Kaufman and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, April 2011.

EENY485/IN884: Eye Gnats, Grass Flies, Eye Flies, Frit Flies Liohippelates spp. (Insecta: Diptera: Chloropidae) (ufl.edu)

view on EDIS


Bigham JT. 1941. Hippelates (eye gnats) investigations in the southeastern states. Journal of Economic Entomology 34: 439-444. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/34.3.439

(BPFSG) The Brazilian Purpuric Fever Study Group. 1992. Brazilian purpuric fever identified in a new region of Brazil. Journal of Infectious Disease 163: 516-519.

Bradley A. 2002. Bovine mastitis: an evolving disease. The Veterinary Journal 164: 116-128. https://doi.org/10.1053/tvjl.2002.0724

(DNZ) DermNet NZ. (January 2010). Yaws. DermNet NZ: the dermatology resource. http://dermnetnz.org/bacterial/yaws.html (28 February 2011).

Dow RP, Hines JD. 1957. Conjunctivitis in southwest Georgia. Public Heath Reports 72: 441-448. https://doi.org/10.2307/4589791

Dow RP, Bigham JT, Sabrosky CW. 1951. Sequel to "Hippelates (eye gnat) investigations in the southeastern states" by John T. Bigham. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 53: 263-271.

Francy DB, Moore LG, Smith GC, Jakob WL, Taylor SA, Calisher CH. 1988. Epizootic vesicular stomatitis in Colorado, 1982: Isolation of virus from insects collected along the northern Colorado Rocky Mountain Front Range. Journal of Medical Entomology 25: 343-347. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmedent/25.5.343

(GNI) Global Names Index. (2010). Global Names Index - Index of Scientific Names. http://gni.globalnames.org/name_strings (28 February 2011).

Goddard J. 2007. Non-biting Flies. pp. 191-200. In Physicians Guide to Arthropods of Medical Importance, 5th edition. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 480 pp.

Greenberg B. 1973. Flies and Disease. Vol. 2. Biology and Disease Transmission. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 856 pp.

Hall RD, Gerhardt RR. 2009. Flies (Diptera). In Mullen Gr, Durden LA (editors), Medical and Veterinary Entomology, Second Edition. Elsevier, Burlington, MA. 637 pp.

Hall Jr. DG. 1932. Some studies on the breeding media, development, and stages of the eye gnat Hippelates pusio Loew (Diptera: Chloropidae). American Journal of Epidemiology 16: 854-864. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a117893

Harrison IH, Da Silva GA, Pitman M, Fleming DW, Vranjac A, Broome CV. 1989. Epidemiology and clinical spectrum of Brazilian purpuric fever. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 27: 599-604. https://doi.org/10.1128/jcm.27.4.599-604.1989

Herms WB, Burgess, RW. 1930. A description of the immature stages of Hippelates pusio Loew and a brief account of its life history. Journal of Economic Entomology 23: 600-603. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/23.3.600

Hinkle NC, Scholl PJ, Mock DE and Warner WB. 2001. Research and extension needs for integrated pest management for arthropods of veterinary importance. pp. 261-262. In Geden CJ, Hogsette JA (editors), Proceedings of a workshop in Lincoln, Nebraska. Second Edition. 328 pp.

(ITIS) (2010). Liohippelates. Integrated Taxanomic Information System. http://www.itis.gov/ (28 February 2011).

Kahn C (ed.). (2008). Eye gnats. Th e Merck Veterinary Manual. http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/71717.htm&word=hippelates (28 February 2011).

Kumm HW. 1935. The natural infection of Hippelates pallipes Loew with the spirochete of yaws. Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 29: 265-272. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0035-9203(35)90089-X

Kumm HW, Turner TB. 1936. The transmission of yaws from man to rabbits by an insect vector, Hippelates pallipes Loew. American Journal of Tropical Medicine 16: 1-16 https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.1936.s1-16.245

Looper M, Stokes SR, Waldner DN, and Jordan ER. (2001). Feeding waste milk to dairy calves. New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_d/d-208.html (28 February 2011).

(MIDEHA) Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Administration. (2010). Conjunctivitis ("Pink Eye"). Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov/pdf/conjunctivitis.pdf (3 May 2011).

Mulla MS. 1962. The breeding niches of Hippelates gnats. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 55: 389-393. https://doi.org/10.1093/aesa/55.4.389

Sabrosky CW. 1941. The Hippelates flies or eye gnats: preliminary notes. Canadian Entomologist 73: 23-27. https://doi.org/10.4039/Ent7323-2

Sabrosky CW. 1987. Chloropidae. pp. 1049-1067. In McAlpine JF, et al. (editors), Manual of Nearctic. Diptera. Volume 2. Research Branch Agriculture. Canada Monograph 28: 675-1332.

Sanders DA. 1940. Hippelates flies as vectors of bovine mastitis (preliminary report). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 97: 306-308.

Saunders GM, Kumm HW, Rerrie JI. 1936. The relationship of certain environmental factors to the distribution of yaws in Jamaica. American Journal of Hygiene 23: 558-579. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a118238

Taplin D, Zaias N, Rebell G. 1967. Infection by Hippelates flies. Lancet 2: 472. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(67)90899-9

Tondella MLC, Paganelli CH, Bortoloho IM, Tankano OA, Trino K and Brandileone MCC. 1994. Isolamento de Harmophilus aegyptius associado a febre purpurica Brasileira de cloropideos (Diptera) dos generous Hippelates e Liohippelates. Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 36: 105-109. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0036-46651994000200002

(USDA) United States Department of Agriculture. (2007). Vesicular stomatitis. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/content/printable_version/fs_vesicular_stomatitis_07.pdf (6 May 2011).