Currently viewing the category: "Crane Fly"

Subject:  Found on grape vine
Geographic location of the bug:  Las Vegas, NV
Date: 04/18/2018
Time: 01:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this “giant mosquito” looking insect on a grape vine.  What is it? Is it beneficial?
How you want your letter signed:  Dave

Crane Fly

Dear Dave,
This is a Crane Fly, and in some parts of the country they are known as Skeeter Hawks.  They do not sting nor bite and they pose no threat to humans.  Beneficial is a tough term to describe in terms of insects.  Birds and other predators will eat Crane Flies, so they do fill an important link in the food chain. 

Subject:  Flying bug
Geographic location of the bug:  South Louisiana
Date: 03/06/2018
Time: 07:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have these insects that appeared suddenly around my home. Please help me identify them.
How you want your letter signed:  Jackie Stelly

Mating Crane Flies

Dear Jackie,
These are harmless mating Crane Flies.  They neither sting nor bite.  Crane Flies tend to be more common during wetter years.

Subject:  A weird worm looking insect
Geographic location of the bug:  California
Date: 01/09/2018
Time: 11:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this bug in my dogs water just floating at the bottoms and didn’t know what exactly it was, I asked family and  they said it was a “moth caterpillar”  I looked up moth caterpillar and I have to admit it looked very similar to this one but this one seems a bit darker and it was still alive after I put it in water added soap AND oxi clean. I ended up smooshing it with my sink drainer making sure it doesn’t like start a nest or something then I let it go down the drain. So what bug is this? Why was it still alive after I drowned it in water soap and oxy clean? Please answer because at first I thought this was some sort of parasite and at this point I’m not sure and I VERY worried for my dog.
How you want your letter signed:  Marcus Wade


Dear Marcus,
This looks to us like the larva of a Crane Fly, and it will not harm your dog.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  Crane Fly larvae are sometimes called Leatherjackets because of their hard exoskeleton.  Because of the large amount of rain last year, Crane Flies were quite common in Southern California last year.

Subject:  What’s this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Missouri
Date: 10/01/2017
Time: 03:49 PM EDT
This guy is on my step. He’s awesome! I would like to know more about him though. Can you help?
How you want your letter signed:  Lacy

Giant Crane Fly

Dear Lacy,
We love your enthusiasm.  This is a harmless Giant Crane Fly,
Tipula abdominalis, and according to BugGuide “adults fly from May to October” and “two generations per year (usually May/June and September/October).”  Your high quality image and your perfect timing has resulted in us naming the Giant Crane Fly our Bug of the Month for October 2017.

Subject:  winged insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Tioga Co, PA
Date: 09/06/2017
Time: 03:46 PM EDT
I found this bug on the wall of our hunting cabin in Wellsboro, PA….looks kind of like a Snakefly, but wondered if y’all could ID it for me.
How you want your letter signed:  Ginette

Giant Eastern Crane Fly

Dear Ginette,
This magnificent creature is a Giant Eastern Crane Fly,
Pedicia albivitta.  According to BugGuide:  “two distinct flight periods: usually May/June and September/October” so this sighting is right on time.

Subject: Nectaring Fly?
Location: Sussex County, NJ
August 5, 2017 5:50 am
Hi again,
Found this on my rudbeckia yesterday. It appears to be some sort of fly, but I’m having a hard time figuring out what Family? It has the general look of a crane fly, but is much smaller than any crane flies I’ve seen, only maybe 1/3 inch. Also, I’ve never seen a proboscis on a crane fly. Am attaching dorsal and ventral views and hope you can shed some light on the identity.
One other note, I was able to gently nudge it with my finger without it making any effort to get away from me – very intent on the flower. When it finally moved, it simply flew about a foot to another flower.
Signature: Deborah Bifulco

Limoniid Crane Fly

Dear Deborah,
Thanks for resending the images.  We believe we have identified your Crane Fly as a member of the family Limoniidae, the Limoniid Crane Flies.  Our first clue was this image on BugGuide of a Crane Fly in the genus
Limonia, though unlike your individual, the wings are spotted.  BugGuide does say this of the subgenus Geranomyia:  “One of three groups of crane flies, all in Limoniidae, that have long mouthparts for feeding on flowers. Often found bobbing up and down while perched.”  This BugGuide image of Toxorhina magna looks like an exact match to us, and both this individual and your individual have ovipositors, indicating they are female.

Limoniid Crane Fly

Thanks so much, Daniel!  And glad to know that I was on the right track with crane fly.  I’m accustomed to seeing crane flies that are much larger than this, which is what was throwing me.  And thanks for pointing out the ovipositor – I can see it clearly now that I know what I’m looking for.

Limoniid Crane Fly