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.”
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.”

Location: Blacksburg, Virginia

12 Responses to Crane Fly allegedly stings human

  1. hahahaha. no. didn’t happen.

  2. Juliet Green – humans!! *facepalm*

  3. Hmm. The very rare and unusual crane fly. You can understand that they might never have seen one before.

  4. I’ve picked up crane flies frequently and never been stung–maybe they were all males? :/ But I don’t think either sexes sting. Perhaps it was a type of ichneumon? Some species do sting while some don’t.

    • bugman says:

      That is our belief as well. Some Ichneumons resemble Crane Flies and some Ichneumons can sting.

  5. I tell my kids to think of them as ugly butterflies. Just as harmless. (But, on record, I don’t think they ugly at all!) #ConfessionsOfABugLover

  6. Kane says:

    They do sting! I was lying in bed when one started flying around my head so I tried to catch it and it stung me which really hurt

  7. Sarah Lefort says:

    My youngest son was just putting one of these guys outside and jumped saying it bit him. I didn’t think so but sure enough, he has a very visible sting mark on his hand and it is turning red all around it.

  8. Bob Bridges says:

    ~Something~ that looked like a giant mosquito stung me when I was young. If it wasn’t a crane fly but looked so much like one that I cannot nowadays tell the difference, then it’s not helpful to say “crane flies don’t sting” and leave it at that, because obviously some of us know better. More helpful, I think, to explain what ~does~ sting and looks like a crane fly — and explain, if possible, how to tell the difference.

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