Currently viewing the category: "Crane Fly"
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

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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

Subject: Orthopteran? Wingless Crane Fly? in Alameda, California
Location: Alameda, California USA
March 14, 2015 9:59 pm
I have been trying to figure out what bug this is all day. Body and legs seem vaguely Orthopteran, but then the back legs aren’t really bigger like they are in grasshoppers and crickets. The head looks a bit like a crane fly, but then where are the wings? I’m stumped. This bug is approximately one inch long, spotted bayside in Alameda, California.
Signature: msLaura

Wingless Crane Fly

Brachypterous Crane Fly

Dear msLaura,
This is most definitely not an Orthopteran, and we agree with you that it appears to be a Crane Fly.  We have posted images of wingless Crane Flies also known as Snow Flies in the past, but your individual does not look much like a member of the genus
Chionea.  Your individual may have experienced some type of trauma causing the loss of wings, or there may be another explanation.  We will attempt to contact Dr. Chen Young of The Crane Flies of Pennsylvania to see if he has any ideas.  We will also contact Eric Eaton.

Dr. Chen Young responds
Hi Daniel,
This is a normal brachypterous form (small winged, short winged) female crane fly, most likely in the Tipula (Triplicitipula) group, it will need a male specimen to know the identity of this female.

Thanks,
Chen

Fantastic, thank you very much!
Warmly,
Laura

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Subject: Unknown bug
Location: St Paul inside kitchen
December 31, 2014 1:20 pm
Dead of winter in St Paulwhen this creature appears on the kitchen floor barely able to fly to the wall but he does! Body an inch long and
Beautiful variegated wings…what is it?
Signature: Frankie

Crane Fly

Crane Fly

Dear Frankie,
This harmless insect is a Crane Fly in the infraorder Tipulomorpha.  We will attempt a species identification for you and we are quite curious about its appearance in late December.

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Subject: I know it’s not a bird or a plane :D
Location: Mumbai, India
December 12, 2014 10:55 am
But what is it? It was executing some low-to-the-floor flying manoeuvres and then settled down on my kitchen wall. Is it a wasp of some sort? What sort? Oh, also, my cats – normally enthusiastic bug serial killers won’t go near it. This is a good thing looking at that sting, but is is a clue?
Signature: – Lenny

Crane Fly

Crane Fly

Dear Lenny,
This beautiful insect is a Crane Fly, and we believe it probably derives some protection by mimicking the appearance of a stinging wasp.  India Nature Watch pictures an individual identified as
 Pselliophora laeta that looks just like your individual.

Sneaky! :) Thanks so much.

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Subject: Strange red lumps
Location: Styx Valley, Tasmania, Australia
October 23, 2014 4:21 am
Hi there,
I would like an ID on both the insect (a crane fly?) and the strange red lumps on its thorax. Are they mites? I found this specimen on the car after a drive through a forestry logging track. Its body (excluding the legs) was probably around 2cm long.
Thanks for the help.
Signature: Curious

Crane Fly with Mites

Crane Fly with Mites

Dear Curious,
You are correct that this is a Crane Fly, and we don’t know if we are going to be able to provide you with a more specific identification beyond the Infraorder Tipulomorpha.  The red lumps do appear to be Mites, and we do have several images in our archives of Crane Flies with Mites.  We found an example from UK on The Ranger’s Blog.  We suspect the Mites are phoretic, but we are not certain.

Crane Fly with Mites

Crane Fly with Mites

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination