Crane Fly (Tipula paludosa)

Here is another guest to the 'Ugly Bug Ball' (gosh, that dates me!). Yesterday, near Wareham, there were countless 'Daddy-long-legs' about on the common, they must have all hatched about the same time in one huge awakening. We also had a number in the garden and around the house, they seem attracted to light in the same way moths are.

Tipula paludosa is probably the most common crane fly, especially at this time of year. It has a close cousin, Tipula oleracae, which is more common in spring and early summer. The two species look the same but my book says oleracae has 13 segments in its antennae and paludosa 14. Try counting them without a microscope ...

The larvae of the two species are the crop damaging leatherjackets which are a favourite delicacy for Rooks and Jackdaws.

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