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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

15 August, 2016

Nephrotoma flavipalpis: the blonde palped cranefly

Nephrotoma flavipalpis is a fairly common species of crane fly found in damp woodlands and hedgerows which probably explains why I found on a hedgerow next to drainage channel on Wareham Common.  It is a little unusual in appearance as it rests with its wings back along its body whereas one associates crane flies with a resting posture with wings outstretched to the side, a bit like a dragonfly.
The head region is light in colour and the scientific name of flavipalpus is derived from this. Flavia means blonde or pale in colour and palps are a pair of elongated appendages found near the mouth which have various functions which include sensation, locomotion and feeding (thanks for that Wikipedia!). Flavipalpus, then, gives us blonde palps which you may just be able to discern from my photograph.
Nephrotoma flavipalpis: the blonde palped cranefly