Currently viewing the category: "Crane Fly"

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.”

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.


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.
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.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Subject:  Crane Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Singapore
Date: 06/10/2018
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman, love your site! Is this a Crane Fly?
How you want your letter signed:  Bug Hunter@SG

Crane Fly

Dear Bug Hunter@SG,
Thanks for the compliment.  This is indeed a Crane Fly, but we are not having any luck with a species identification.

Thanks so much. You guys are generous to share your knowledge like this, and your webpage really makes it fun to learn about bugs.
Thanks again!
Dr Gan Su-lin

Subject:  Flying scorpion looking thing with 6 legs
Geographic location of the bug:  London England
Date: 06/01/2018
Time: 02:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:
What is this thing? My friend has found it in his house! It looks like a flying scorpion
How you want your letter signed:  Jake

Crane Fly

Dear Jake,
Though it resembles a stinging wasp, this is actually a harmless Crane Fly.  Based on images posted to Eakring Birds and on Diptera Info, we believe your Crane Fly is
Ctenophora pectinicornis.

Subject:  Hymenoptera
Geographic location of the bug:  La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Date: 05/06/2018
Time: 11:09 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this wasp-like bug a few days ago (early may) and had never seen anything like it before. My city is at a 1000 meters of altitude and we don’t have a lot of strange bugs around here. Do you know what it is and if it’s supposed to be here in Switzerland? And also, is it dangerous?
It was about 2cm long.
How you want your letter signed:  Myriam

Crane Fly

Dear Myriam,
This is NOT a Wasp or other Hymenopteran, but it is a very effective wasp mimic.  This is actually a Crane Fly and we believe we have identified it as
Ctenophora flaveolata thanks to images posted to BioLib and Diptera Info.

Crane Fly

Thanks a lot for your quick answer! I’m relieved it’s not a dangerous bug!
Kind regards,