Cranefly (Tipula spp.)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Cranefly.
Updated: 5/16/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Cranefly is not a mosquito, but it unfortunately resembles one of humanity's most annoying insects and pays the price.
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.