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"In science fiction one can say a great many things that are unpalatable, because it's expressed as science fiction you can slip it past their defenses."
- Frederik Pohl

Midge  
  A very small flapping wing UAV that can be carried by a larger flying device.  

"...Many of our UAVs are equipped with smaller aircraft that can be dispersed in quantity. We refer to them as "midges". Midges have many capabilities. To the untrained eye, they look like sparrows. They even fly like sparrows, for up to 20 hours before they self-destruct. The ones we are utilizing at this moment to search the crowds in Mecca are known as Osmic Mobile Observers or OSMO's. They can zero in on individuals or groups of individuals based on long-term dietary habits."
From Quantico, by Greg Bear.
Published by Vanguard in 2007
Additional resources -

Compare to the tracer-birds from an unusual story by Roger Zelazny. As far as I know, the earliest reference to a little flying UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) is the scarab robot from a 1936 story by Raymond Z. Gallun.

Also, compare it to the robot bird from Invader on My Back, by Philip E. High, published by Ace Books in 1968.

The copseyes from a story by Larry Niven use a different take on this idea.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Quantico
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Quantico
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

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