May 3, 2010

Springtime Arrival of the Crane Fly

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Generally I see the freaky-looking crane fly make its first appearance in my area around the end of May, but the weather here in Northwest Ohio has been quite warm for many weeks. I think spring arrived at least two weeks early this year, and I took advantage of the warm weather to start sowing seeds in mid-April.

Often mistaken for giant mosquitoes, crane flies do not bite humans and are harmless. Still, I did a nervous double-take when this impressive-sized member of the family Tipulidae landed on the ball cap I just took off my head. The body of this arthropod measured well over an inch, and the wingspan of the insect was over two inches in length.

Of course, the creature was no match for the one-pound World War II text I used to send it to Tipuloidea Valhalla, and if it had plans to send out wedding invitations to its insect friends, these plans fell apart in an instant.

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