Today at Kingsford

crane fly

Another “Today” today, due to technical problems. I was out most of yesterday afternoon running errands in town (a task that seems to suck up most of a day without any trouble at all, as what should reasonably take less than three hours ends up taking over five – time must stretch in Kingston) and when I returned home, the internet was not working. Well, as I’m sure everyone can sympathize, trying to troubleshoot computer problems can take a while. I did finally get it working again this morning, but only after reinstalling the program (which, it turned out, had mysteriously disappeared). This afternoon was spent checking out my parents’ soon-to-be new digs, so no time for a full post tonight, either.

Time for a short one, though. This evening I discovered this guy resting on the wall beside the door. I suspect it’s the same one that startled Blackburnian yesterday and then disappeared. Although it looks like a giant mosquito, and looks rather creepy, it’s not, and it’s harmless. It’s a Crane Fly, a member of the family Tipulidae. The Kaufman guide to insects notes, “Often abundant, and extremely diverse, they are impossible for anyone but an expert to identify beyond the family level.” Well. Should I not even bother trying, then? Still, those wings ought to be distinctive, such bold patterns and bright (for a crane fly) colours. And the size. This is easily the largest crane fly I’ve ever seen, a couple inches across from leg to leg.

Sure enough, a search for “giant crane fly” on BugGuide.net turns up several photos of my bug in the results. It’s a Giant Eastern Crane Fly, Pedicia albivitta. It’s found through most of the northeast, south to North Carolina and west to Minnesota, so strange that I haven’t encountered it before (a little like the millipedes, I suppose). The larvae are aquatic and predaceous, feeding on small invertebrates. Adults are seen in two distinct flight periods, one in the spring and one in the fall. They also come to artificial light. Guess we’ll be seeing a lot of them!

Advertisements

6 responses to “Today at Kingsford

  1. Good grief! That’s the most robust crane fly I’ve ever seen. Very cool.

  2. themarvelousinnature

    It sure was something to discover hanging on the wall, Snail!

  3. Pingback: organism of the month sept08 - cranefly « the natureheads blog

  4. They are also attracted, at least in rural Dundalk, to the dogs’ stainless steel water buckets, with unfortunate results. I was apparently up there at the height of the season.
    I’ve always liked crane flies. It’s probably that surge of relief, knowing that something so big has so polite a proboscis.
    Good job on your internet intuition, by the way. E.g. is better, too, at that talent than I am.

  5. Pingback: Tuesday Miscellany « the Marvelous in nature

  6. Hi there to every single one, it’s truly a good for me to visit
    this web site, it contains precious Information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s