Crane Fly  (three photos)
"Mosquito Eater"

crane fly
This crane fly was at Payson Lakes in Utah County.  Such a beautiful place for insects to live.  © Carol Davis, 7-6-2008

crane fly
We used to refer to these in the Utah as "mosquito eaters", but they don't eat mosquitoes.  In fact, they hardly eat at all as adults, but fly
around looking for a mate.
On Antelope Island I have seen these in swarms doing just that.  The larvae are considered pests since
they consume grass roots. With the gangly look they have about them, I think of them as Ichabod Cranes. © Carol Davis 9-14-2007

overhead view
As you can see they have two little "curb feelers" on their back (Wow! That dates me).  I read somewhere
that that are called  halteres
and are used for balance and vibration.  They have beautiful wings and fragile
long legs that can be easily broken (even by catching one).  They are a very primitive group of insects and
look like they belong in the dinosaur era with the dragonflies.  © Carol Davis, 2008

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