Random Insect: Crane fly taking a break

Crane fly (family Tipulidae) resting on a raspberry leaf (Rubus ideaus, Rosaceae). Photographed 09/19/2010 near Palmyra Michigan.

I found this crane fly (family Tipulidae, possibly of the genus Nephrotoma) resting on an American red raspberry leaf (Rubus ideaus, Rosaceae) in my garden.  If this insect looks like a giant mosquito, that’s unsurprising:  they’re both in the suborder Nematocera within the order Diptera (true flies).

Crane fly (family Tipulidae) resting on a raspberry leaf (Rubus ideaus, Rosaceae). Photographed 09/19/2010 near Palmyra Michigan.

Unlike mosquitoes, crane fly females don’t feed on blood.  Adults feed on flower nectar, if they feed at all.  The adult forms of these insects are primarily engaged in mating and egg laying.  What feeding is done only serves to prolong this activity.  The crane fly above is a female (note the ovipositor), and may be taking a break from feeding or mating.  Or she may be dying…it’s pretty late in the season.

The larvae of many crane flies are aquatic, and resemble fat juicy worms or leeches.  It’s amazing that these plump larvae can pupate and become such thin delicate flies.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Entomology, Random Insect and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Random Insect: Crane fly taking a break

  1. I am a first-time gardener, and converted my front yard to an edible garden this spring. I just discovered an insect on my cherry tomato plant and grabbed my camera. It looks exactly like your photo above (except my photo isn’t as sharp!). I was trying to identify it and I’m happy to have found your blog! I will be posting my photo and linking to this page. I see an ovipositor on my photo, too. She was there for awhile, but, I just ran back out to see if I could get a more detailed photo and she’s gone. I’m not clear if she is a beneficial, or not. I really don’t want to find these larvae in my garden! (I removed the turf, aka, weed-filled lawn, last fall.) I also have a web series, “Late Bloomer.” I hope you check it out. I’m not an expert. It’s for entertaining and encouraging people to grow your own food. Thanks!

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  2. Pingback: Crane Fly « latebloomershow

  3. Pingback: Crane Fly | The Late Bloomer Show

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