adult cranefly, body and face
Order: Diptera; Family: Tipulidae

Craneflies look like mosquitoes on steroids. They often cause distress for many people because they look ferocious and dangerous. But in reality, they don't bite people and are said to prey on mosquitoes and maybe even spiders. So you might say they are people-friendly!

cranefly on wall
Metamorphosis: Complete

Larvae: definitely "worm-like"; thick-skinned, and brownish-green to somewhat transparent or whitish; pointed or rounded at one end and a set of disk-like spiracles at the other; color may be stained greenish or brownish; length up to 3 inches.

Reproduction: females deposit eggs on submerged vegetation or other debris.

Adults: best described as "giant mosquitoes" and possess long legs and plump bodies, but are harmless.

Food: mostly plants and plant debris; some are predaceous.

Indicator Role: Indicates moderately clean water; seldomly found in polluted waters. 

cranefly face - closeup
Information Source: McDonald, B., W. Borden, J. Lathrop.1990. Citizen Stream Monitoring: A Manual for Illinois. Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources, ILENR/RE-WR-90/18. Springfield, Illinois. ct
Images: Irene Lindsey


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