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Pahavit's Universe

Date: 8-26-2009 2:42 PM
Subject: Local Insect: Crane Fly
Security: Public
Tags:insect, local insect
Local Insect: Crane Fly

Here's a crane fly (genus Nephrotoma) sitting on a privet leaf in the back yard (pic taken in mid-June).

Often described as mosquitoes on steroids, these giant-sized flies do not bite or sting at all.

Other names for the crane fly are mosquito hawk, mosquito eater (or skeeter eater), gallinipper, gollywhopper, and jimmy spinner, depending on which region you're in.

They do not eat mosquitoes; adults feed on nectar, larvae feed on decaying roots and other vegetation.

Beneath the huge lacy wings are a pair of structures called halteres, which function sort of like gyroscopes to stabilize it in flight.

This particular crane fly is long dead. The adult stage lives only a few days, just long enough to breed.

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