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crane fly hanging from my ceiling (MACRO it, don't panic !)

crane fly A crane fly is an insect in the family Tipulidae. In the United Kingdom, Ireland and Newfoundland they are commonly referred to as daddy long-legs, but this name can also refer to two unrelated arthropods: members of the arachnid order Opiliones (especially in the United States and Canada) and the cellar spider Pholcidae (especially in Australia). The larva of the European Crane Fly is commonly known as a leatherjacket. These larvae can cause damage to lawns by feeding on the roots of grass plants.

Numerous other common names have been applied to the crane fly, many of them more or less regional, including mosquito hawk, mosquito wolf, mosquito eater (or skeeter eater), gallinipper, and gollywhopper.

At least 4256 species of crane flies have been described, most of them (75%) by the specialist Charles Paul Alexander. This makes Tipulidae one of the largest families of Diptera (although smaller than Limoniidae, one of the other extant families of crane flies).


Despite their common names, as adults, crane flies do not prey on mosquitoes, nor do they bite humans. Some larval crane flies are predatory and may eat mosquito larvae.[2] Adult crane flies feed on nectar or they do not feed at all; once they become adults, most crane fly species exist as adults only to mate and die. Their larvae, called "leatherjackets", "leatherbacks", "leatherback bugs" or "leatherjacket slugs", because of the way they move, consume roots (such as those of turf grass) and other vegetation, in some cases causing damage to plants. The crane fly is occasionally considered a mild turf pest in some areas. In 1935, Lord's Cricket Ground in London was among the venues affected by leatherjackets: several thousand were collected by ground staff and burned, because they caused bald patches on the wicket and the pitch took unaccustomed spin for much of the season.

Little is known of the juvenile biology of many crane fly species. The larvae of less than 2% of the species have been described. Of those that have been described, many prefer moist environments, and some leatherjackets are aquatic.

Submission The photo you submitted to Dragonfly and Damselfly Moments is in fact a Crane Fly. We will not put it into the group. Thank you for your understanding!

Sincerely, The Administration



Regional werden Schnaken auch bezeichnet als Bachmücken, Pferdemücken, Langbeinmücken, Schneider, Keilhacken, Mückenhengste, Hexen, Schuster, Schnegger, Slak, Schnok, Amel, Emel, Purks, Pock(s), Hemel, Fräter, Sappen oder Kothammel.

Bei einigen der Trivialnamen dieser Insekten handelt es sich offenbar um Verwechslungen mit den zu den Spinnentieren gehörenden Weberknechten, die regional ebenfalls als Schneider, Schuster, Tod oder Kanker bezeichnet werden. Auch die aus dem Englischen stammende Bezeichnung „daddy long-legs“ taucht zuweilen in der deutschen Bezeichnung für Schnaken auf als „Meister Langbein“ oder „Opa Langbein“. Dabei ist interessant, dass „daddy long-legs“ in Großbritannien meist Schnaken sind, in den Vereinigten Staaten Weberknechte und in Australien Große Zitterspinnen. Mancherorts wird irrtümlicherweise auch der Begriff Siebenstecher auf Schnaken angewendet, obwohl dieser im Volksmund ursprünglich die ebenfalls nicht zum Stechen befähigten Libellen bezeichnet. Die Bezeichnung als Mückenhengste und ähnliches hängt mit dem Irrglauben zusammen, es handle sich bei Schnaken um die Männchen der Stechmücken.

Tipulida oleracea Crane flies are among the animal which cause the most panic in a bedroom, apart from probably spiders, that is.

The top most un-wanted pests Aliases Bugsy, European Crane Fly; Mosquito Hawks; Tipula paludosa


Hangout: Young stay protected in soil of lawns; adults bob around lawns and porchlights in August and September

Physical Features: Young are wormlike with tough brownish skin and care called "leatherjackets"; adults are about 1: long with wings and spindly legs, and look like giant mosquitoes

Life Cycle

Leatherjackets are below-the-belt villains, attacking both the roots and tops of grass blades in the spring. In mid-May, European crane flies cease the attack and retreat to hideouts just below the soil, until August or September. When they emerge as adults, they look intimidating, resembling overgrown mosquitoes. However, adults won't attack your lawn. They only emerge for mating and egg laying.



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A common misconception regarding crane flies is that they have some of the most potent venom in the world, but are unable to deliver it to humans because their mouths are unable to pierce our skin. This urban legend is not true, and is very much like other tales that have been geared toward the spiders that share the nick name "Daddy Long Legs" in the United States. The crane fly is non-venomous and contains no venom.


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Taken on July 27, 2011