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.


Fantastic, thank you very much!

Location: Alameda, California

2 Responses to Brachypterous Crane Fly

    • bugman says:

      Though Dr. Chen Young did not fully explain this variant on normal Crane Flies, we got the impression it was genetic variation rather than genetic mutation, but we may be wrong.

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