Crane Fly

Subject: Hornet?
Location: Holt, Michigan
May 28, 2016 5:35 pm
Found in mid-Michigan in a wood pile. He was disoriented and walking in the grass, and let us move him without any issue. Looks like it has a very large stinger.
Signature: Melissa

Crane Fly
Crane Fly

Dear Melissa,
We believe we have correctly identified this female Crane Fly as
Tanyptera dorsalis, formerly Ctenophora dorsalis, thanks to images posted to BugGuide where it states:  “larvae live in decaying wood of recently dead deciduous hardwood trees, often in prostrate trunks that are fairly sound.”  This BugGuide image illustrates the female ovipositing using her egg-laying organ that you have mistaken for a stinger.  The coloring and shape of this Crane Fly likely provides the species with some protection as it seems to mimic the markings on many stinging wasps.

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