|Crane Fly - Tipula caloptera|
Family Tipulidae - crane flies, tipules
Tipulidae is the largest family of Diptera with about 1,500 species in North America
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This is the largest crane fly I've ever seen - easily 80 mm wingspan, approx. 150 mm overall, including legs. No slouch flier, this female, either - she took off like a bat out of hell when she'd had enough of me. Just as the large Tipula dorsimacula I'd encountered only 50 feet from this spot last year, the tip of her abdomen was wet as if she'd been ovipositing. Wish I could catch one in the act.
The Crane Flies of Pennsylvania
Flies of North America - Order Diptera. Flies are prevalent in virtually all habitats, with over 16,000 species in North America. Flies can be distinguished from all other insects in that they only have one pair of normal wings. The other pair has evolved into small ball-like structures called halteres, thought to be used as stabilizing organs during flight. Most flies have compound eyes and mouthparts adapted for piercing, lapping or sucking fluids.
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