What are these giant mosquito looking insects?

californianApril 5, 2009

My neighborhood in north Orange County is infested this year with bugs that look like giant mosquitos. Anyone know what they are called and are they a beneficial insects or something I should try to kill? Every time I open the door several try to fly inside, and if I mow the grass dozens of them rise up out of the grass ahead of my lawnmower.

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They are crane flies (mostly species of Tipula).

They're beneficial in the sense that their larvae feed on decomposing vegetation in mucky wet areas.

A couple of fun myths: many people call them "mosquito hawks" or "mosquito eaters", thinking they catch mosquitos. And an old Italian myth: they poke you in the eyes (and why else would they have such long legs?!).


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 1:31PM
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Cal: I live in OC too. Those crane flies are completely harmless, but they drive my wife insane. Luckily I have a solution: carnivorous plants. Here's a photo of a sundew feasting on an unlucky crane fly:

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 4:27PM
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Thanks I always thought that was what they were like many others. We don't get bothered by them and aways left them alone. Nice to know what they really are

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:06AM
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