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

Subject: Crane Fly
Location: Langley BC Canada
May 30, 2017 12:18 pm
Hey bugman just wondering what she is. I know it’s a crane fly, I believe it is a Nephrotoma. From the images I’ve found it looks like a Crocata to me. I live in BC Canada. I’m not really knowledgeable on insects, just curious as I’ve never seen on of these in my life.
Signature: Thanks

Crane Fly

Wikipedia has an image of Nephrotoma crocata, and it does resemble your individual, but that is a European species and to the best of our knowledge, it has not been introduced to North America, but that is always a possibility.  We are more inclined to believe that you have an image of a native species in the subfamily Ctenophorinae which is pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of bug is this
Location: MIchigian
May 26, 2017 7:36 am
I would just like to know what kind of bug this is?!
Signature: Catie

Mating Crane Flies

Dear Catie,
These are mating Crane Flies, and in some locations they are called Mosquito Hawks or Skeeter Hawks because people mistakenly believe they eat Mosquitoes.  Crane Flies are harmless.  They neither sting nor bite.  According to Texas A&M City Bugs:  “Crane flies are among the gentlest of insects. Some are nectar feeders, sipping sweet sugars from plants and possibly helping out a little with pollination in the process. Other species lack mouth parts entirely. Instead, the adults live out their short lives relying on fat reserves built up during their underground larval stage.”  The site also states:  “Enjoy crane flies while they last.  And keep in mind that as adults, these flies only have love on their tiny minds.  The sole purpose of the adult crane fly is to mate and, for the females, to lay eggs for next spring’s crop of flies.  Crane flies are harmless to handle, so the next time one makes its way indoors, simply cup it gently to release outdoors.  Think of it as a romantic gesture.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mosquito?
Location: Cherry Valley, CA
May 20, 2017 6:19 am
Dear Bugman – Found this on my screen yesterday at dusk. Seemed bigger than most mosquitos I’ve seen around here. Always come to you with my bug queries & you never let me down!
Thanks for all you do!!!
Signature: Betz

Crane Fly

Dear Betz,
This is a Crane Fly in the family Tipulidae, which is well represented on BugGuide.  Though they resemble Mosquitoes, and they are frequently called Mosquito Hawks, Crane Flies neither sting nor bite, nor do they hunt Mosquitoes.  Because of the record breaking rainfall in California this past season, Crane Flies have been especially numerous this spring.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Always wondered
Location: Langdon NH
May 4, 2017 7:23 pm
I have always wanted to know what these bugs are known as. I get them all the time.
Signature: Donna Caron

Giant Eastern Crane Fly

Dear Donna,
Based on BugGuide images, we at first mistook this for a Giant Eastern Crane Fly,
Pedicia albivitta, because BugGuide does indicate:  “the most commonly encountered species of Pedicia“, but upon more closely scrutinizing the dark pattern on the wings, we realized there was no dark mark intersecting the bottom edge in the wing, which causes us to speculate, based on BugGuide images, that this is actually Pedicia contermina, a similar looking member of the same genus.  Crane Flies are frequently attracted to lights, which might explain why you get them all the time. They are erroneously called Mosquito Hawks or just Skeeter Hawks because they are believed to eat Mosquitoes, when in fact most Crane Flies probably do not feed as adults.  There are also folks who mistakenly believe Crane Flies sting, but they neither sting nor bite, so they are harmless to humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: insect ID
Location: San Diego County
April 27, 2017 9:02 am
(body about 1 1/2” long)
Signature: Gerald Friesen

Crane Fly

Dear Gerald,
This is a Crane Fly in the family Tipulidae, and they are currently quite numerous in Southern California because the wet winter created the perfect conditions for development of the larva.  Crane Flies are harmless despite their resemblance to giant mosquitoes.  Many Los Angeles residence have become alarmed by the large number of Crane Flies prompting the Los Angeles Times to run an article earlier this month that states:  “According to [Karen] Mellor [an entomologist for the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District], weather conditions this year helped produce a bumper crop of crane flies. Sometimes called mosquito hawks, these pesky insects are clumsy fliers and often bob along walls or windows, she said. Most alarmingly, they sometimes fly toward people.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large insect swarm… is my Infant Safe?
Location: Pacific Northwest, Springfield, Oregon
April 17, 2017 3:15 am
Hello, I have a 17 yr old Son and 5 Month old Son at home. My Oldest was working on the yard this weekend. We had a tree fall during a storm about 10 years ago. He was starting to use the Weed-eater around the stump. When a Swarm of these insects flew out at my Son. He didn’t get stung and as fast as they surrounded him they went back in. He said they acted like wasps but they didn’t follow him. I though at first he was just trying to get out of yard work. When I went out there I saw one until I got to close and 20 of them flew out. My son was right they acted like wasps more like pretended to be. I went and grabbed the camera with the long lenses to take the picture. They are very Beautiful but intimidating. I would like to know what they are and if they are safe? Especially because of my 5 month old. The stump is about 6 ft from the Nursery Window. They window is closed now but when summer comes that might be a problem. I don’t want to harm them if we can co-exist I will leave them be. If not are they able to be relocated?
Thank you for taking the time to read this and Thank you in advance for any help you can give me!
Signature: Angie W

Crane Fly

Dear Angie,
We believe we have correctly identified this beautiful, and perfectly harmless, male Crane Fly as
Ctenophora vittata angustipennis thanks to images posted on BugGuide where Eric Eaton provided this comment:  “There is at least one common wood-boring species in the Pacific Northwest. I ran across a log full of the larvae and pupae once, before I knew what they were! Pretty bizarre.”  According to BugGuide, there are two subspecies:  “holarctic: one ssp. along the NA Pacific coast (BC-CA), another across Eurasia.”  We believe the larvae were developing in the rotting wood and that is why they were found near the log.  They are not social insects, but when conditions are correct, there can be large numbers of individuals.  There are currently several species of Crane Flies that are appearing in great numbers in Southern California, and we believe their numbers were affected by the record rains we had this past winter.  These Crane Flies pose no threat to your toddler and there is no need to relocate their rotting log.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination