Crane Fly with Mites

Is this a Crane Fly?
We saw this on the outside of our window the other night and had never seen one with eggs around its neck. Also, the wings on the crane fly’s I see usually are not folded back like this one. Picture taken in Kenmore WA (near Seattle) Taken with a digital camera on macro looking through a hand held magnifying lens. Thanks,

Hi Doug,
You are correct about this being a Crane Fly, but those are not eggs. They are Mites that are hitching a ride on the Crane Fly in order to be transported to a new location. This method of dispersal is known as Phoresy. We will contact a Crane Fly expert, Dr. Chen W. Young, to see if he can add anything. Dr. Chen Young quickly wrote back to us with this information: “Crane flies can hold their wings either way, fold over their back or spread out to the sides. The crane fly of your image actually is one belongs to the subfamily Limoniinae. They are smaller in body size and their antennae are 14-16 segments. The large crane flies belong to subfamily Tipulinae and their antennae are 13 segments. Check this section and scroll down to see the part regarding mites on crane flies Several species of pseudoscorpions and mites have been reported to attach themselves to crane flies. The majority of these associations are actually phoretic relationships, where the pseudoscorpions and mites are carried as hitchhikers by the crane flies. However, others are parasitic mites that feed on the body fluid of the crane flies.” 

Update:  October 14, 2019
We just received a comment that the above link is not working.  The Crane Flies of Pennsylvania has a new url.

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