Currently viewing the category: "Crane Fly"

Subject:  Japanese Crane Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Wakayama, Japan
Date: 07/28/2021
Time: 05:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Looked like a wasp at first but then Google took me to your site and I think it’s very close to a crane fly you posted. It was sitting on my car at 35 degrees on July 27, 2021
How you want your letter signed:  Dirk

Crane Fly

Dear Dirk,
Your Crane Fly looks like an old posting from our archives that was identified as
Ctenophora ishiharai, and we located this FlickR posting that is identified as Ctenophora nohirae.  We believe the latter is a closer match.

Wow, thanks a lot!
Much appreciated.

Subject:  Found in a creek water fall???
Geographic location of the bug:  Folsom, California (summer)r
Date: 06/18/2021
Time: 04:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  OMG! Founds this in a creek while camping in Folsom and it looks like some horror movie leech! Please know what thos is s I I can breath easy and be able to go back in the water here.
How you want your letter signed:  Sicerly, Michael Del Carlo

Leather Jacket

Dear Michael,
This sure looks to us like the larva of a Crane Fly in the family Tipulidae, and you can compare your individual to images posted to Trout Nut, an anglers’ website.  Here is a BugGuide image.  We first read the common name Leather Jacket for Crane Fly larvae in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin by Charles Hogue.  Though it somewhat resembles the “graboids” from Tremors (see Monster Legacy) we assure you the Crane Fly larva is perfectly harmless.

Subject:  What is this grub?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mill Creek, Washington
Date: 11/05/2019
Time: 12:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I have come across this little guy multiple times over the years when in the yard weeding and am curious what it is.  Any info would be appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Kristen

Leather Jacket

Dear Kristen,
We believe you have encountered the larva of a Crane Fly like the ones pictured on BugGuide and again on BugGuide and you may read about them on the Missouri Department of Conservation site.  Charles Hogue in his book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin calls Crane Fly larvae Leather Jackets because of their “thick dark skin.”  Capital Regional District uses the name Leatherjacket.

Thank you so much for satisfying my curiosity.  I appreciate you taking the time to email me back.

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

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.


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.