Friday, January 23, 2015

Crane Fly

On several of my recent and frequent visits to Nangara Reserve at Jindivick, I have disturbed clouds of Crane Flies in the moist understory. Mostly I’ve been chasing some other poor subject for my camera and when I have had a half-hearted go at snapping a Crane Fly it would never sit still long enough.

I managed to track one down the other day and got a couple of acceptable images – while it was stuck in a super-fine spider web!
Cop those super long antennae.
Some Crane Fly facts …
  •   The family Tipulidae is the largest family in the Diptera group - thousands of species.
  •   The larvae may thrive in a wide variety of habitats, water, wet soil, moss beds, dead logs, even dry earth.
  • Crane Flies are closely related to mosquitoes but do not drink blood.
  • Their adult stage may only last a few days during which they do not eat.
  • One common name is the very obvious Daddy-long-legs.
  • In the larval form they feed on detritus and break down organic matter – they are decomposers.
  • In larval and adult form they are an important food item for many other species – birds, frogs, fish, spiders, etc and other insects.
  • Fisherman like to use larval and adult Crane Flies for bait and lures.
  • As larvae, some Crane Flies can be a pest in turf grass and crop situations.
The long legs are principally for clinging to vegetation rather than for walking.


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