Librarian Files

Crane Flies 

Crane flies appear in the Tucson area in the spring. Though these insects look like giant mosquitoes, they are not. They are often called mosquito hawks because they are commonly thought to feed on mosquitoes when in fact the adult crane fly does not eat.The only inconvenience caused by these insects is just being around. If Tucson has plentiful winter rains, there will be a lot of Crane flies. Larve survive in moist areas such as under leaves and in lawns. The adults emerge long enough to mate and lay eggs.

Scientific Name:
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Tipulidae

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

For an image of crane flies go to National Park Service:


Olson, C. E. (2004). 50 common insects of the Southwest. Tucson, AZ: Western National Parks Association.

 "Crane fly." Entomology at Texas A&M University - Home. (accessed October 19, 2011). 

 "Craneflies | Biological Indicators of Watershed Health | US EPA." US Environmental Protection Agency. (accessed October 19, 2011).

"The Top 10 Most Unwanted Pests - Cranefly." Lake Whatcom Management Program. (accessed October 19, 2011).

Article tagged with: mosquito hawks, mosquito eaters, fake mosquitoes, giant mosquitoes, crane flies

Last Update: 4-26-2014 4:42pm

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