large crane flies

(Family Tipulidae)

               
Overview

Tipulidae, called large crane flies, is one of the largest families of flies. There are more than 15,000 species worldwide, almost 1,500 species in North America north of Mexico, and at least 116 species in Minnesota. They are very common and very widespread, having been found on every continent including Greenland and Antarctica. Larvae feed on decaying organic material either in water or in moist soil. Adults feed on flower nectar. They are found around abundant vegetation often near water.

large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)

  Photo by Alfredo Colon
Identification

Total Length: to 1 (10 to 35 mm)

Large crane flies have very long legs and look like mosquitoes, but they do not bite. They are sometimes inaccurately called “mosquito hawks,” but they are anatomically unable to eat other insects. There are two compound eyes but no simple eyes (ocelli). The paired antennae-like sensory appendages attached to the mouth (maxillary palps) have four segments. The last segment is very long, longer than the other three segments combined. There is a distinct V-shaped groove on the upper side of the second thoracic segment (mesonotum). On the wing the radial vein (R) has 4 or fewer branches, and 2 anal veins extend to the wing margin.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30.

 
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Taxonomy

Order:

Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)

 

Suborder:

Nematocera (long-horned flies)

 

Infraorder:

Tipulomorpha (crane flies)

 

Superfamily:

Tipuloidea

 

Family:

Tipulidae (large crane flies)

 
Subordinate Taxa

antlered crane fly (Tanyptera dorsalis)

band-winged crane fly (Epiphragma fasciapenne)

European crane fly (Tipula paludosa)

ferruginous tiger crane fly (Nephrotoma ferruginea)

giant crane fly (Tipula abdominalis)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

crane flies

large crane flies

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Maxillae

Paired mouth structures of arthropods located immediately behind the mandible and used for tasting and manipulating food.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Palp

Short for pedipalp. A segmented, finger-like process of an arthropod; one is attached to each maxilla and two are attached to the labium. They function as sense organs in spiders and weapons in scorpions. Plural: palpi.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)   large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)
       
  large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)   large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)
       
  large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)   large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)
       
  large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)   large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)
       
  large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)   large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)
       
  large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)    
       
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  Crane fly, Tipulidae
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About

Published on Nov 29, 2016

Crane fly, Tipulidae.

   
       

 

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Alfredo Colon
Summer 2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

large crane fly (Family Tipulidae)


     
     
 
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Created: 7/18/2019

Last Updated:

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