Crane Fly adult Click to enlarge image
Crane Fly adult, Family Tipulidae Image: David Gray
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Family
    Tipulidae
    Infraorder
    Tipulomorpha
    Order
    Diptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Number of Species
    800
  • Size Range
    2 mm - 60 mm

Introduction

Crane flies are the largest family of flies in Australia.

Identification

This group of flies shares its other name with the Daddy Long-legs Spider, however they are not remotely related. Crane flies look like giant mosquitoes with their long skinny legs and long wings but are quite harmless and do not bite, sting, or suck blood.

Habitat

Crane flies live in urban areas, and forests and woodlands. They commonly occur in Sydney in moist environments such as urban gardens and woodlands because the larvae need moisture to survive. Some larvae are aquatic while others get enough moisture from the soil or mud.

Distribution

Crane flies are found throughout Australia.

Life history cycle

Depending on the species and environmental conditions, the life cycle of crane flies is variable. The larvae can live for up to a year but adults only a few days or weeks.