SPECIES ID / Invertebrates

True Flies

Crane Flies

Xexp’ítsel sisemóye

  • A large, diverse family
  • 577 species in North America
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Tipulidae

Identification Tips:

• Body cylindrical, relatively thick with no legs
• Head not visible; withdrawn into thorax
• 1 to 7 pairs of short, fleshy lobes arranged at tip of abdomen
• 10-25 mm

• Body shaped like mosquito, but much larger
• Extremely long legs

Life History:

• Larvae found in a variety of still and flowing water habitats
• Among stones, organic debris or in sand or thick algae on rocks
• Some types are found in brackish water and intertidal areas
• Breath through openings (spiracles) at end of abdomen
• Most shred or collect organic detritus to eat; a few are predators
• Especially important in breakdown of leaf litter
• Adults are flying insects that feed on nectar

Very Sensitive Somewhat Sensitive Facultative Somewhat Tolerant Very Tolerant
  Some Most Some  

Primary Information Source:
Voshell, J. Reese. 2002. A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America. McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company. Blacksburg, Virginia.