One of the largest craneflies on the continent, the Giant Eastern Cranefly is a gentle and fragile insect that can break legs even with a delicate touch.
Giant Eastern Craneflies may look a lot like a humongous mosquito, but it is not one. This fly does not sting nor does it bite. Its size and resemblance to the small, pesky blood-sucking mosquito often means it is killed due to misidentification and misunderstanding. It is often seen resting on tree trunks, plant branches, or even window screens. Long wings can stretch to 80 mm (over 3 inches). They are transparent, but are marked with dark bands that form triangles on the wings. The long abdomen has dark brown, triangular bands along the top side. Though it should have 6 legs, it is common to see one with fewer than that because they are so brittle. Legs break off easily and they do not grow back.
Like all fly larvae, Giant Eastern Cranefly offspring are also called maggots. The wormy maggot stays underground in wet soil near creek and stream banks. The maggot may feed on decaying plant matter and detritus. After pupating, winged adults spend their time trying to reproduce. They are not known to eat. Look for them in woodlands and forests, especially at night. Peak activity happens twice a year: once in the spring and again in the fall.
Scientific Name: Pedicia albivitta
Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 38mm (0.78in to 1.48in)
Colors: brown, tan, ivory, red
Descriptors: huge, large, giant, legs, mosquito, wings, flying, harmless, fly, five legs, three legs
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