Gnats don’t usually get a lot of air time and are often thought of as being pesky. They have some really interesting behaviours however, and join some of the very few handful of invertebrates that can be found out and about this time of year, braving the winter months.
Flying together in large swarms in the winter, males can be spotted performing their courtship dances flying up and down independently to others and dancing “to their own tune”. They are cleverly able to keep their distance when dancing alongside each other however, and space themselves out, being mindful not to steal the show from anyone else.
Together, they form a large swarm where females can find them easily. This is a process called lekking. Once mated, the female will lay eggs in the decaying leaf little where the eggs will stay until they hatch next year.