SPECIES ID / Invertebrates

True Flies

Phantom Crane Flies

  • 17 species in North America
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Ptychopteridae

Identification Tips:

• Capsule-like head
• Long, thin, telescoping breathing tube at tend of abdomen
• Pair of prolegs on first 3 abdominal segments
• 10-25 mm without breathing tube, up to 60 mm with
• Segments have multiple ridges and/or soft bumps protruding

Life History:

• Usually found in still, often stagnant water near edges of ponds and marshees
• Burrowers; life in upper 3 cm of sediment that is rich in organic detritus
• Feed on collected organic material
• Breathe air via long tube and absorb oxygen over the skin

• Adults fly; occur in shrubby vegetation near where larvae occur

Very Sensitive Somewhat Sensitive Facultative Somewhat Tolerant Very Tolerant

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