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National Insect Week returns in 2020

Tiger crane fly

(Nephrotoma flavescens)

Order

True flies

Crane flies are delicate long legged flies.  There are over 300 crane fly or 'daddy long-legs' species in the UK.

What do they look like?

Adult Tiger crane flies have bodies of around 18 mm long.  They have a yellow and black thorax, their yellow abdomen has a thin black stripe down the centre.  Males have square-ended abdomens, but females have a pointed ovipositor for laying eggs.

Where do they live?

You can find Tiger crane flies in hedgerows and grassy places.

When can you see them?

Adult Tiger crane flies fly in Spring and Summer.

Life cycle

Adults crane flies live for only a few days in Spring and Summer months.  Males and females will fly at night and mate, and females then lay eggs in soil.

Larvae hatch and feed on plant roots, they overwinter and then feed again in early Spring, before pupating and emerging as adults.

What do they do?

Adults Tiger crane flies feed on nectar and pollen from flowers such as Hogweed.

Did you know?

Crane flies can lose their legs very easily, as a way of escaping predators. 

Where can they be found?

Tiger crane flies occur throughout Europe, North Africa and Asia.

Did you know?

Frass

The scientific term for insect poo is 'frass'.

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