Crane Flies

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Crane Flies


(Tipulidae), a family of insects of the order Diptera. They are medium or large-sized (up to 40 mm) mosquitoes with long legs. Coloration is grayish, yellow, or brown. There are approximately 1,500 species, and about 400 are found in the USSR.

Crane flies appear in early spring and remain until late autumn, geneally in damp meadows and damp forests. As a rule the adults do not feed, although some forms drink water or nectar. They lay their eggs in the soil, rotten wood, or moss, less commonly in water. The larvae are a dirty gray or brownish color, with a single pair of large spiracles at the rear end of the abdomen, surrounded by six fleshy growths. They feed on decaying plant matter or roots, sometimes damaging garden plants (an example of a harmful species is Tipula paludosa) or even tree seedlings in nurseries (species of the genus Nephrotoma). Countermeasures are chiefly agrotechnical and include proper soil cultivation and crop rotation. The name crane flies is often applied to representatives of other closely related families of Diptera, such as Limoniidae, whose larvae develop in decomposing matter, fungi, or in water; there are more than 1,300 species of these, and about 500 are found in the Soviet Union. Of particular interest are species of the genus Chionea, which have reduced wings; they are frequently active on the snow in winter.


Opredelitel’ nasekomykh Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR, vol. 5, part 1. Edited by G. Ia. Bei-Bienko. Moscow-Leningrad, 1969.
Savchenko, E. N. “Komary-dolgonozhki.” In Fauna SSSR: Nasekomye dvukrylye, vol. 2, fasc. 3, 4, 5. Moscow-Leningrad, 1961-64.
Giliarov, M. S. Osobennosti pochvy kak sredy obitaniia i ee znachenie v evoliutsii nasekomykh, Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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