Saturday, 14 September 2013

Crane flies

Autumn has set in and lots of crane flies have emerged. There are 300 species of crane fly in the UK they are also known as daddy long legs. Crane fly larvae are called leatherjackets and they are a crop pest feeding on grass roots but are great food for birds. Crane flies are nocturnal and are often attracted to lights. They are a member of the fly order Diptera which means 2 wings. The second pair of wings are reduced to knob ended clubs which can be seen in this photo these are called halteres and help with stabilising flight. The number of wings is a great distinguishing feature between hover flies and wasps as hover flies only have 2 wings where as wasps and bees have 4.

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