Insect Identification
Insect Identification Facebook Logo
Insect Identification

Cranefly - (Tipula spp.)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 8/28/2014

The Cranefly is not a mosquito, but a harmless, delicate beauty with an unfortunate resemblance to one of humanity's most annoying insects.

Tweet
Picture of Cranefly
Pic of the Cranefly
View All Images (2)

Though they look like giant mosquitoes, they are not mosquitoes. Craneflies do not bite, they do not have a long proboscis (snout) and adults are not known to feed... on anything. Their fragile long legs break easily and may lead some people to think they are a form of giant Daddy-Long Legs (which are not spiders, by the way), but Craneflies have a pair of wings, which are easy enough to see if you get closer.

Adults tend to sit on walls or hang on things (like plants, gutters, soffits, attracted to light. Some species prefer more aquatic habitats, while others are completely terrestrial.

Females may have a long ovipositor, resembling a needle-like stinger, but it is used to deposit eggs in moist soil or in water, depending on the species. These eggs may overwinter, hatching in the early months of spring. Once the larvae hatch, the immature Craneflies feed on decaying matter, leaf mold and fungi.

Text ©2005-2014 www.InsectIdentification.org. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Permitted. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from www.InsectIdentification.org is strictly prohibited.

Category: Fly or Mosquito
Common name: Cranefly
Scientific Name: Tipula spp.
Other Names: Leatherjacket

Taxonomy:
  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Diptera
      Family: Tipulidae
       Genus: Tipula
        Species: spp.

Adult Size (Length): 8mm to 65mm (0.31in to 2.56in) COMPARE

Identifying Colors: brown; gray; gold

General Description: flying


North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico


* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.


NOTE: Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (insect bites, etc...). Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. Email corrections / Comments to InsectIdentification at Gmail dot com.
BugFinder - Insects by Color or State
BugFinder allows for a quick search of the database by selecting primary color, secondary color, number of legs and the territory or state in question. If only one Primary color is present, select it again for Secondary color.
Primary Color:
Secondary Color:
Number of Legs:
State/Province:
General Category: