Currently viewing the category: "Crane Fly"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Crane Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Plymouth Meeting Pa
Date: 05/08/2019
Time: 01:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this a crane fly?  If so what kind of crane fly is this? Are they agricultural pests?  They were found mating on my aronia.
How you want your letter signed:  Concerned Gardener

Mating Tiger Craneflies

Dear Concerned Gardener,
We believe these are mating Tiger Crane Flies in the genus
Nephrotoma, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania:  “Although individual adults have a relatively short life span of 10 to 15 days, the flight period for each species can last from 25-30 days. The main functions of the adult stage are mating and egg-laying. Feeding is less important, and probably water is the most pressing need.”  That said, adults are benign for the gardener, except that they provide food for insect eating birds and other predators that often benefit the garden.  The larvae are probably a greater concern since they feed, but according to the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania:  “The larvae are found in a wide variety of habitats, varying from strictly aquatic to terrestrial, even relatively dry soil. Their habitats include fresh water in fast-flowing streams, marshes, springs, meadows, seeps, tree holes, algal growth or mosses on rock faces near water, organic mud and decaying vegetable debris along the shores of streams and ponds, accumulated decomposed leaves and rotting wood on the forest floor, and occasionally soil in lawn and pastures. … Larvae are the growth stage and the majority of crane fly larvae are scavengers feeding on decomposing plant material and the associated microorganisms. Larvae of some aquatic species are predators on other small invertebrates, and several are herbivores on algae, moss or herbaceous plants.”   There are also many nice images of Tiger Crane Flies on iNaturalist.

Mating Tiger Crane Flies

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  A request for aid in the identification of an insect
Geographic location of the bug:  My position coordinates: Lat=39.1816° Lon=-78.1259°
Date: 05/02/2019
Time: 02:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this little fluttering fellow while working late this eve. Seem quite keen to the new led lighting system we installed.
I’m a bit of a softy for littler lifeforms, and this one kept me company while I was drudging away. I had originally assumed it to be just another Tipulidae, but as the conversations between us grew more personal, I noted that the proboscis area seemed a bit more blunted than other Crane flys I’ve know.
So, I thought I would ask an expert, in hopes I wasn’t just being shallow and crass to this evening’s guest.
Unfortunately, flash photography seems to be limit to the intrusion that the little Floaty-Floaty would endure. Alas, off to find a better host…How you want your letter signed:  Joe

Crane Fly

Dear Joe,
Thanks so much for your highly entertaining query.  Despite your doubts, this is a Crane Fly.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  New mosquitos in vegas?
Geographic location of the bug:  North Las Vegas, NV
Date: 03/31/2019
Time: 02:13 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Seen a handful of these over the last couple weeks.
How you want your letter signed:  JB

Crane Fly

Dear JB,
This is a harmless Crane Fly, not a Mosquito.  Crane Flies are often called “Mosquito Hawks” though they do not prey upon Mosquitoes.  The wet winter weather may be contributing to larger numbers of spring Crane Flies this year.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black and white bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Bradford, Ontario, Canada
Date: 09/07/2018
Time: 11:07 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Trying to figure out what this bug is that I found outside my work.
How you want your letter signed:  Rachel

Phantom Crane Fly

Dear Rachel,
This distinctive insect is a Phantom Crane Fly.  According to BugGuide the habitat is:  “Swamps and similar wetlands.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  flying insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Detroit Michigan
Date: 08/06/2018
Time: 01:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We see these every once in a while, usually trying to get through a window! We are very curious as to what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Larry Peplin

Crane Fly

Hi Larry,
This is just about the most beautiful image we have ever seen of a harmless Crane Fly in the infraorder Tipulomorpha.  We will continue to post that Crane Flies are harmless, with the backup of noted Crane Fly expert Dr. Chen Young despite folks writing in the claim they have been bitten or stungAll the schooled experts agree with us that Crane Flies are harmless.

Hi Daniel;
Thank you! My wife and I knew that it was harmless (although it does look sort of a little like an irradiated mosquito!).
I happen to be a pro photographer with a camera usually within reach, thus the nicer-than-usual photo. You’re welcome to use it as you wish, should the need for a crane fly image ever arise.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Stung by a crane fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Norway
Date: 07/11/2018
Time: 02:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi!:)
I sat outside today and suddenly felt a sharp pain in my back. I slapped my hand on my back and  killed a crane fly(i think)… i know that that was whAt stung me(photo). Do you agree that this is a crane fly? Or could IT be something else?
How you want your letter signed:  Heidi Kristine

Crane Fly

Dear Heidi Kristine,
This does indeed appear to be a Crane Fly and the irritation on your neck does appear to be a sting or bite.  Over the years, we have always agreed with experts that Crane Flies do not sting or bite, including Dr. Chen Young who maintains the Crane Flies of Pennsylvania site where it states they are “a group of harmless flies,” but the images you have submitted are solid evidence to dispute that long standing scientific consensus.  At the very least, it would seem the scientific community might need to investigate the possibility that some species of Crane Flies might be capable of stinging or biting. We will send your images to Dr. Young and to Eric Eaton to see if either would like to comment.

Sting or Bite mark

Eric Eaton provides input.
Daniel:
I’ll be real curious as to what Chen Young says.  The image is definitely a female crane fly, but they do NOT sting.  I suppose it could use its ovipositor to jab you, but then I don’t understand the dermatological reaction Heidi is showing.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination