Riley Pest Management
We specialize in commercial non-profit organizations and small businesses

Get your issues and pests managed with customized individual service - call (727)565-5431

A source for information on flies

Crane Fly Family Tipulidae

Adult crane flies are black, red or yellow in color. Although some of their external characteristics resemble those of wasps, their polished bodies help to distinguish them. Crane flies may also be mistaken at times for mosquitoes, but they exhibit a v-shaped suture at the thorax that is not present on the body of the mosquito. Crane flies also have no ocelli.

Depending on the exact species, most crane flies measure between three and 60 millimeters in length, while tropical species are capable of growing up to 100 millimeters long. Crane fly wings may be transparent, brown, grayish black or brownish yellow. Some crane flies rest with extended wings, while others fold their wings flat. The mouths of adult crane flies are located at the end of their elongated faces, also known as snouts or short rostrums.

Males have three-branched segments of antennae, while females have either serrated or branched antennae. Female crane flies have extended abdomens, which house eggs and are capped with an ovipositor. Although these ovipositors appear similar to stingers, they are harmless and are only used for reproductive purposes.

Crane flies lay their eggs in the ground, where larvae feed on decaying wood and vegetation. Their feeding behaviors may damage plant roots. Adult crane flies prefer to dwell in wet, mossy, old and open woodlands. They primarily consume nectar, although they sometimes feed on other plant fluids. Crane flies survive for several days, with most species living only long enough to complete the reproductive cycle.

Common names for crane flies include jimmy spinners, mosquito hawks, mosquito eaters, mosquito nippers, gollywhoppers and gallinippers. Although they are known as daddy long legs in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand, they are not at all similar to the arachnid that goes by the same name in the United States.


Large flies up to 1-inch long; very long, thin legs


Light brown


Crane flies do not invade buildings but are commonly seen around buildings at night where they are attracted by lights. These flies resemble giant mosquitoes but are not a concern because they do not have biting mouthparts. Occasionally, one or two crane flies will fly into an open door and be seen inside.


The larvae of crane flies breed in wet soil and aquatic environments. Large populations may be seen near buildings in lawns or fields where considerable rainfall has accumulated for a period of time. 


No control is necessary for this fly. If seen indoors, the occasional crane fly can be killed or captured and released outside. To attract fewer of these insects to a building, exterior lights should be switched to yellow “bug lite” bulbs or to low pressure sodium vapor bulbs.

"Riley Pest Management is a small company with a big heart that will go the extra mile to take care of an issue for you no matter when it happens. They have proven to be a very good friend to non-profits."

-- Duggan Cooley, former CEO- RCS

Veteran Owned Business - Leading FREE directory of over 8,000 businesses owned by military veterans (VOB), active duty military, reservists and service disabled veteran owned businesses (SDVOSB) of the United States Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and National Guard. Show your support for our armed forces by proudly searching for products and services that are all made by, sold by or serviced by United States military veterans!













Bookmark this page