Crane flies

Also called daddy-long-legs, these fragile flics arc well known for shedding their very long legs easily if caught. They are mostly brown, black, or gray with yellow or pale brown markings. The end of the abdomen is blunt and expanded in males, while females have a pointed ovipositor.

• LIFE CYCLE Eggs arc typically laid in soil. Fhe larvae live in soil, rotting wood, birds' nests, and bogs, where they eat roots, decaying organic material, fungal threads, and mosses. Some aquatic crane flies may be carnivorous. Many adults are shortlived, fly at twilight, and may feed on nectar.

• ()(:< :i JRRENC IE Worldwide. Often found by water or among damp vegetation, shaded woodland, or pasture.

• Remark The larvae of many crane flies are pests of crops, garden plants, and lawns.

Larvae have tough bodies and so are often called leatherjaekets.

extremely long and m fragile legs front of head

CTENOPHORA ORNATA is a distinctive European species whose larvae develop in well-decayed wood.

/ male antennae may j m appear feathery long wings smoky wingtip patches

• black-and-yellow, wasp/ike markings front of head long wings

slender \ abdomen \

CTENOPHORA ORNATA is a distinctive European species whose larvae develop in well-decayed wood.

slender \ abdomen \

HOLORl s /» SPEC u s include some of the world's largest crane flies. This specimen has a wingspan of over 4in (10cm).

short, stocky legs characteristic humped thorax

short, stocky legs characteristic humped thorax

Family ACROCKRIDAK

No. of species cjqq elongate m o nth part s « for feeding on nectar small-headed flies

I rue to their name, the head of these flics is smal and the eyes cover most of its area. The hody is stout, and the thorax lias a humped appearance.

• I J EE CYCLE Eggs are laid on grass or twigs or dropped in flight. i latched larvae seek out and parasitize young spiders. Once inside a spiders hody, the larva does not develop further until the spider reaches its last molt. The larva itself then molts, cats the spiders internal organs, and j ^rvaf become leaves the spiders body in order to pupate. fat an(j grublike

• OCCl RRENCE Worldwide. Various once inside a habitats, wherever spiders are found. spider's body.

elongate m o nth part s « for feeding on nectar

small head stout, dark hody

/asia spfcifs larvae develop inside the bodies of tarantula spiders in South America.

Larval feeding habits

Order l)n>TKRA

Family ACiROMY/lDAK

LliAI-MININCi FLIES

These flics are gray, black, or greenish yellow and may have patterned wings. The abdomen tapers, and females have a pointed ovipositor.

• life Cycle Eggs are laid in plant tissue. Larvae chew "mines" (channels) through leaves or feed inside stems, seeds, or roots. Some form galls. Pupation occurs in the mine or in soil.

• OCCl RRENCE Worldwide. Wherever their host plants occur.

• remark These flics are crop pests. A few species are used to control weeds.

stout, curved\ black bristles on head and thorax

stout, curved\ black bristles on head and thorax

Larva I are hexomy/a species are found in white or pale the UK, I S, Japan, and South Africa, yellow and Its larvae make galls on the twigs of slightly flat. trees such as poplars.

Larva I are hexomy/a species are found in white or pale the UK, I S, Japan, and South Africa, yellow and Its larvae make galls on the twigs of slightly flat. trees such as poplars.

Larval feeding habits

Order OlPTKRA

Family ANTHOMYIIDAK

No. of species j 50O

ANTMOMYIII) FLIES

Many anthomyiids look like yellowish, dull brown, gray, or black house llics (see p. 148).

• LlEE CYCLE Eggs arc laid in or on plant tissue, and the larvae are found boring into stems, mining leaves, or inside galls on a huge range of host plants. Some develop in rotting seaweed or dung, and a few species live as parasites inside the nests of solitary bees and wasps.

• OCCl JRRENCE Worldwide, mainly in the Northern Hemisphere In a wide range of wooded, damp habitats or near seashores.

anthomyia ! mum da occurs in most parts of Europe. Its larvae feed on debris in birds' nests.

gray thorax with black markings «

clear wings

i ,arvak usually have a tapering front and blunt rear.

anthomyia ! mum da occurs in most parts of Europe. Its larvae feed on debris in birds' nests.

gray thorax with black markings «

clear wings

i ,arvak usually have a tapering front and blunt rear.

slender, bristly legs black patches on abdomen slender, bristly legs black patches on abdomen

Length i/16_i/2¡n (0.2-1.2cm), most V«- "/«in (0.7-0.9cm) Larval feedinê habits $ 0 0 ®

Order DlPTERA

Family ASILIDAE

No. of species 5 qqq sharp, forward-pointing proboscis smoky tinge at wing-tips

long tuft of facial hairs broad wingspan hairy body in bee-mimicking species

Pa aido i a puria fia mmipennis has a long, sideways-flattened proboscis. Some of the facial hairs are as long as the proboscis.

Robber flies

I he head of these slender or beelike flies is characteristically slightly hollow between the eyes, with a long tuft of hairs on the face.

• LIFE CYCLE Robber flies stab insect prey through a weak point, such as the neck, and inject saliva. The contents of the paralyzed insect's body are then sucked up. Fggs are laid either in soil or on or inside plants. Most larvae live in soil, leaf litter, or rotting wood, where they eat the eggs, larvae, and pupae of other insects.

• Occurrence Worldwide, in a variety of habitats, especially dry or semiarid grasslands.

sharp, forward-pointing proboscis long tuft of facial hairs

Larvae are long, cylindrical, and often pointed at both ends.

smoky tinge at wing-tips broad wingspan hairy body in bee-mimicking species

A beepharotes spi.en 1)1 diss imi is is found in Australia. This large species has platelike tufts of hair at the sides of its Hat abdomen.

Pa aido i a puria fia mmipennis has a long, sideways-flattened proboscis. Some of the facial hairs are as long as the proboscis.

Length %_2V*m (0.3-7cm), most X.,-%in (0.8-1.5cm)

Larval feeding habits ^ ^

Order [)„>TKKA

Family BOMBYLIIDAE

No. of species c^ qqa

proboscis, for sucking nectar, is two to three times longer than head

wings stout, hairy body

Bee flies

Although some can be small, most bee flics tend to be stout and hairy, hence their common name. Many species arc brown, red, and yellow in coloration, and some have bright markings.

• life Cycle The larvae of most known bee flies parasitize the larvae of various other insects, although a few eat grasshopper eggs. Females produce many small eggs, which may, for example, be laid near the nest of a host bee. The active first-stage larvae of the bee fly will then locate the host bee larvae in their nest, eat them, and pupate inside the bee's cell. Adult bee flies feed 011 nectar.

• Occi RRENCE Worldwide, especially in open and ton^ Mart*

semiarid regions. ^^ 7/Xmuwith

Around flowers y ^¡JJP ^ ^ swollen tip or resting on the ground.

long legs i .arvae are curved and narrow toward both ends.

systropiis species arc slim-bodied, extremely wasplike insects from tropical and subtropical regions.

proboscis, for sucking nectar, is two to three times longer than head stout, hairy body

LBombyuus discolor is a European species. With its broad abdomen and furry body, it looks very much like a bumblebee.

wings l/gyra venus is a distinctively patterned species from Tanzania. Its larvae develop inside the nests of certain wasps.

TWO-WINGKD I I,IKS* 143

spongelike mouthparts for lapping black, very • bristly thorax

met a llic-blue abdomen front of head bright orange

hairs and bristles on thorax bristly abdomen shiny blue coloring on body

Order [)|PTKRA

Family CALLIPHORIDAK

No. of species j 200

mouthparts for absorbing or lapping fluids minute claw

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