Thursday, March 26, 2009


This specimen is a member of the family Tipulidae, and has become very abundant this time of year in San Diego. They are often mistaken as "giant mosquitoes" or are labeled "mosquito eaters". There are over a thousand species from this family in North America.

Diptera; Tipulomorpha; Tipulidae
Common Name: Crane Fly

It is difficult to narrow down the genus without a key specific for Tipulidae. This family contains flies with long thin abdomens, long narrow wings, and extremely long legs. They are often found dancing around artificial lights or across grassy fields. The females have pointed abdomens, while the males have rounded abdomens. Crane fly larvae bear the common name "leatherjackets" and consume roots and plant material, while the adults may consume nectar. They have a very ephemeral adult phase - the main objective is to mate. They do not bite or sting, and are easily captured.


  1. Not to mention, Tipulidae is the LARGEST family in Diptera...

  2. my brother s afraid of the critters n he is screaming as if the critter will kill him so i looked it up now i know it is a not a mayfly or a mosquito everybody could relax thank u!!

  3. I have photos of an insect found on my back porch here in Michigan. Is there any way I could send it to you and maybe you could help ID it? I've been unsuccessful in doing a search here online. But it has many similarities as this Crane Fly you've posted here...

  4. Sure,maybe upload to something like picasa or flickr or photobucket and post the link? I prefer not to post my email.