Crane Flies and Mosquitoes

DCX Crane Fly
Crystal-wing Crane Fly
Tiger Crane Fly
Genus Leptotarsus   
Yellow Fat Crane Fly
Orange Fat Crane Fly
Common Brown Crane Fly
Common Yellow Crane Fly
Dull-yellow Crane Fly
Long-black-nosed Crane Fly
Black Crane Fly
Dotted-wing Crane Fly
Spider Web Crane Fly 
Salt Marsh Mosquito
Predatory Mosquito
Yellow Midge 
Green Midge
Grey Midge 
March Flies 

Unknown Flies

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Crane Flies - Family Tipulidae

Order Diptera 

This page contains pictures and information about Crane Flies in family Tipulidae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Flies in this family look like giant mosquitoes (mosquitoes are not that large). They are extremely long-legged and long-winged with slender body. However, not like mosquitoes, they do not feed on blood. Crane flies only drink water but not feed at adult stage. 
Crane Fly also called 'Daddy-long-legs', with long and thin legs. Their legs are not for walking but to hang from plants. Also notice the hind wings are reduce to the club-shaped halteres, which is the characteristic of flies. For some species, males have the much longer antenna.
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Crane Flies do not have ocelli. The mesonotum has transverse V-shaped suture. They can be recognized by the wing veins with two distinct anal veins. Rs often 4-branched. Sc usually ending in R, m-cu meeting M3+4 close to its fork. Cu is angular at m-cu. When rest, the fly hold their wings open at right angle to the body. There is the V-shaped suture on thorax. The ocelli are absent. 
Crane Fly usually found in moisture area. They are found resting on plants, overhanging in damp shady places. Some like to rest on spider webs.   
Crane Fly larvae of most species live in fresh water, damp soil or rotting plants. They feed on decaying vegetable matters.
In Australia we have only one subfamily Tipulinae in family Tipulidae.


DCX Crane Fly
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Dolichopeza (Dolichopeza) sp., body length 15mm
This Crane Fly has the very long and slender legs. We call this DCX Crane Fly because it is Discal-cell-X, discal cell missing on wings. Please check this page for more information.
Crystal-wing Crane Fly
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Megistocera filipes fuscana, body length 20mm
We recognized this Crane Fly by its very long slender legs. Wings are crystal clear with brown stigma and a very small discal cell. Male with antenna 5 times the body length. Please check this page for more information.
Tiger Crane Fly
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Nephrotoma australasiae, body length 15mm
This large Crane Fly is common in Brisbane forest. They have yellow body with black bands on abdomen, slender body and very long legs. Notice the 'V' shape pattern on its thorax. More pictures and information please click on here.

Genus Leptotarsus

DSC_5129.jpg (70534 bytes)Leptotarsus is a large genus in Australia Crane Fly Family. They can be recognized by the short rostrum (same as head length) with simple antenna, legs are long and slender. Abdomen is usually shorter than wings. We found quite a number of species in Leptotarsus. Please check this page for details.

1. Insects of Australia - CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p740.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p348.
3. Crane Fly Identification Keys - The Crane Flies (Diptera: Tipulidae) of Pennsylvania - Chen W. Young, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, 2009
4. Family TIPULIDAE - Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Faunal Directory.
5. The Tipulidae (Diptera) of Australia I. A review of the genera of the subamily Tipulinae - NV Dobrotworsky, 1968, Australian Journal of Zoology 16(3) 459 - 494.
6. On the Fly, The Interactive Atlas and Key to Australian Fly Families CD Rom - Hamilton, J. et al. 2006. Brisbane : CBIT & ABRS. 

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Last updated: April 03, 2013.