"Knat" redirects here. For the television station, see KNAT.
For other uses, see Gnat (disambiguation).
A gnat /ˈnæt/ is any of many species of tiny flying insects in the Dipterid suborder Nematocera, especially those in the families Mycetophilidae, Anisopodidae and Sciaridae.
In British English, the term applies particularly to Nematocerans of the family Culicidae (mosquitoes). The common gnat is the species Culex pipiens.
Male gnats often assemble in large mating swarms or ghosts, particularly at dusk.
Gnat larvae are mostly free-living and some are aquatic. Many feed on plants, though some are carnivorous. Larval plant feeders (such as the Hessian fly larva) cause root, stem, or leaf galls to be formed by the host plant. Some species of fungus gnats (families Mycetophilidae and Sciaridae) are pests of mushrooms and roots of potted plants in homes and greenhouses.
Some South American Pleurothallid orchids are pollinated by tiny gnats and have correspondingly small flowers.