Tuesday, September 25, 2007


More commonly known round these 'ere parrz as the "Daddy Long Legs", scientific name of Tipula paludosa, the second most feared spindly creature to enter our houses, I suppose, after the House Spider.

Other common names have been applied to the Crane-Fly, especially in North America, including, mosquito hawks, mosquito eaters (or skeeter eaters) (they do NOT eat mozzies though) , gallinippers, gollywhoppers, and jimmy spinners. NB. I should point out here, that Americans call (what we call) Harvestman (arachnids), "Daddy Long Legs". I think thats correct. I'm sure my sister will correct me if I'm wrong.

I was just mentioning in my previous post how Daddy Long Legs are emerging later than normal, and I put it down to a lack of rain in the past few weeks. It turns out that this would be a factor, but once again, a driving force, possibly the significant driving force behind the late emergence of our autumn Craneflies is.... you've guessed it - Climate Change. (NB. Note how Climate change has no trademark - unlike Global Warming TM).

We have 350 species of Crane Fly here in the UK, present most of the warmer months, though Tipula paludosa is our most encountered Crane-Fly, emerging en masse around October time.
There are approximately 14,000 species of Crane-Fly worldwide though, making this family the most numerous (in terms of species numbers) family of True Flies, (order Diptera).
When I say emerging, the adults only live for a few days - most of the Crane-Fly's life cycle is spent underground, nibbling grass roots as the infamous "Leatherjackets".

This one I photographed in the lower paddock, resting just an inch or two from my Diadem (Cross) Spider's orb web.
Crazy fool.


electrichalibut said...

Third most feared spindly house-entering creature, I think you'll find. Michael Barrymore is number 2. In some parts of Essex, anyway.

The Black Rabbit said...

Not often your comments make me laugh out loud.
That one did.
Wuh dun!