Currently viewing the category: "Crane Fly"
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Subject: mosquito hawk or other?
Location: Blacksburg VA
May 15, 2015 9:50 am
This is the notorious bug we’ve all been talking about! The debate is, “Does it sting?” I would say from my experience “yes”. I cupped it in my hand to place outside and Whammy! It got me. I have to admit the mosquito hawk and the wasp type bug look very similar. So that could be a contributing factor in this hub bub of ” to sing or not to sting”
Signature: Wendy g

Crane Fly

Crane Fly

Dear Wendy,
Thanks for submitting an image of a Crane Fly, the subject to much debate in our comment section regarding stinging.  According to all reputable information we have found, including the input from Dr. Chen Young, an expert in Crane Flies, they do not sting.  Dr. Chen Young commented:  “Here is the link and in the Introduction there is statement in the first paragraph that indicates crane flies are harmless. “They are often mistaken for mosquitoes, but they belong to a group of harmless flies.” http://iz.carnegiemnh.org/cranefly/introduction.htm#Introduction
We continue to stand by that position and we will continue to allow our readership to debate the issue in our comment section of postings, but we prefer to provide no additional What’s That Bug? feedback regarding the matter.  According to Washington State University:  “Adult crane flies do not damage your lawn, nor do they bite or sting. They are harmless.”

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help with identification
Location: Northern CA, Pacific coast
May 12, 2015 12:15 pm
This photo was taken on May 2, 2015. In a broken branch of a cherry blossom tree. We live on the far northern Pacific coast in CA. Not far from the Oregon state line. Please help in determining what this is. At first I thought wasp, but not sure about that. Can’t seem to find any photos online that match this one. Hopefully it is a simple ID for you. My daughter and her friend initially discovered it, and I felt bad that I couldn’t tell them what it was with any certainty.
Thanks for any help!
Signature: Matt in NorCal

Crane Fly

Crane Fly

Dear Matt,
This impressive insect is a Tiger Crane Fly, a harmless species that benefits from its resemblance to a stinging wasp.

Daniel, just wanted to say Thanks for the information and quick turn around time! Fantastic site – I’m disappointed I only recently discovered it.
Have a great day,
Matt

 

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: insect identification
Location: central New Jersey
April 22, 2015 7:38 am
I live in New Jersey and I want to know the name of an insect with a skinny body and black and white striped legs. The legs look as if they are lit up
Signature: Don’t Bug me!

Phantom Crane Fly

Phantom Crane Fly

This distinctive Crane Fly is commonly called a Phantom Crane Fly, a name that refers to the appearing and disappearing act that occurs when it flies feebly from sun to shade, an optical illusion created because of the boldly striped legs.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flying insect identification
Location: Pacific Northwest, Southwest Washington state
April 11, 2015 11:21 am
Hello,
I live in a wooded area of southwest Washington state and saw this insect on the door of our shed. I tried to look up something on it, but can’t seem to find anything. You you please help?
Thank you
Signature: Tia Miller

Crane Fly

Tiger Crane Fly

Dear Tia,
This distinctive insect is a Tiger Crane Fly,
Phoroctenia vittata angustipennis.  As it does not sting nor bite, it is a harmless insect.

Crane Fly

Tiger Crane Fly

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wingless Crane Fly?
Location:  Wrightwood, California
March 17, 2015
Found this guy in Wrightwood, California about a week ago.   It moved like a spider but when I picked it up I realized it was not!   It looked line a crane fly to me and a search for “wingless crane fly” brought me to Whatsthatbug..  Most of the images I have seen here and elsewhere  are of much heavier bodied examples with much thicker legs.  I have not found one that looks like this anywhere else but I am fairly sure it is a crane fly.    I’m hoping you’ll find this one as interesting as my son and I did.

I really hope you guys see this.  With all the web resources out there (often your website) I am still stumped!  I have not been able to find an image of anything quite like this.  I am certain it’s a crane fly but all the wingless crane flies I can find online are very grizzly looking.  This one is much different.
Sorry for the filthy hands, we were repairing a sprinkler system.
Kevin

Wingless Insect

Wingless Crane Fly

Dear Kevin,
Thanks for resending this interesting request.  We went back through our unanswered mail and we could not locate your original submission, which is very curious.  Zooming in on your excellent image, we do not believe the antennae and mouthparts are those of a Crane Fly.  It reminds us more of a member of the order Mecoptera, the Scorpionflies.  We are going to seek some additional opinions, including Eric Eaton and Crane Fly expert Chen Young.

Wingless Insect

Wingless Crane Fly

Dr. Chen Young identifies Crane Fly
Hi Daniel,
Yes, it is a crane fly and it is a male crane fly, thus it is probably not in the family Tipulidae, instead it is in the family Limoniidae.  I sure wish I could get a small part of his leg and run a DNA sequence (just a wish till I move to CA).
Thank,
Chen

Close up of curious winged insect

Close up of Wingless Crane Fly

Kevin sends a tardy response:  May 12, 2015
Daniel,
Thanks very much for this.  And sorry for the late response, I replied just after seeing that Dr. Chen gave an ID but I found the reply group of emails in my outbox that never actually sent.  I was very happy to see the crane fly posted and identified.  I wish I could have provided Dr. Chen what he needed for a DNA sequence.  That would have been extra cool.  Thanks again for your fantastic site!

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Crane Fly
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Ides of March:  March 15, 2015
We just wrote back to Dr. Chen Young who identified a wingless Crane Fly for us, and we saw a Crane Fly on the window.  Sadly, the dorsal view is out of focus.

Crane Fly (ventral view)

Crane Fly (ventral view)

Hi Daniel,
The images are sort of out of focus and it kept me from making any further identification beyond the genus Tipula.
Thanks,
Chen

Crane Fly (dorsal view)

Crane Fly (dorsal view)

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination