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What is the scientific name for a gnat?

A:

Quick Answer

The scientific name for the common gnat is Culex pipiens. However, the term "gnat" can apply to a wide variety of insects that resemble flies and belong to a number of families in the Diptera order.

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The common gnat is a vector, or transmitter, of several diseases, including meningitis, some types of encephalitis and the West Nile virus. Gnats are usually 3 to 7 millimeters long and resemble flies. Male gnats only feed on nectar, but female gnats feed on human blood. The fungus gnat, whose scientific name is Lycoriella spp., is a member of the same order but a different family.

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