|Crane Fly - Tipula dorsimacula|
Family Tipulidae - crane flies, tipules
Tipulidae is the largest family of Diptera with about 1,500 species in North America
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Live adult female fly photographed at Winfield IL USA April 23, 2004. Size: 25mm not including legs. I believe this giant crane fly had recently been laying eggs when I stumbled upon it - the tip of the abdomen is wet as if it had been in the water or mud.
Thanks to Dr. Chen Young of Carnegie Museum of Natural History for identification of this specimen.
The small, bulbous structures are called halteres. They are used for balance and vibration damping during flight.
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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