Thursday, May 09, 2013

Crane fly - A Pic a Day in May #9

These large mosquito-like crane flies are abundant in the vineyard right now. They're especially visible in the mornings as I walk along the road or in the spaces between rows of grape vines. My walking disturbs them and they take off to fly out of my way. They're quite delicate and seem as though the slightest breeze could push them off course.

My rigorous feeble attempt to identify this insect: I think it's a called a "tipule" (nephrotoma submaculosa) in French.

This one landed in the clear not far from where I stood, so I was able to bend down slowly and get this shot before he (or she?) took off again.


  1. Crane flies. Can't stand them. The larvae (grubs) from these pests feed off the roots of lawns...gardeners dig them up in bunches. And the guy in your photo looks like a "he" - no 3rd appendage for depositing its eggs in the earth.

  2. Oh, that is a seriously good photo. Seems like they are not loved insects though.

  3. Great photo, but it looks like you opened a "can of worms" by your beautiful image of this ugly bug.

  4. I'm enjoying these Pic a Day in May photos.
    I'm not into bugs, but this is a great shot.

  5. interesting insect; we have none like that here.

  6. 'He' has such long legs!

  7. Eww. I just escorted a spider with that leggy look out the front door.

  8. Yep, Tiger Crane Fly Nephrotoma spp of some sort. Well done! I can't tell which species from this photo. Not submaculeata though. I can't tell which sex either (you can tell by looking at the antennae or the tip of the abdomen). The larvae are called leatherjackets and can indeed be a pest. If you have a good bird population they will seek them out and deal with them in most circumstances (that's what all those rooks and jackdaws are doing in the fields all day, and blackbirds on your lawn). The larvae will die if your lawn or field gets too dry too.

    1. Sorry, that should be 'not submaculosa'. And actually, looking at it again, I wouldn't discount it.


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