Friday, 19 September 2014

Crane fly - mummy longlegs

 
Here she is, mummy longlegs.  You can tell she's a female because the end of her body is pointed.  This is her ovipositor, which means 'egg-placer'.  She pushes it down into the soil and lays her eggs on grass roots. 
 
The male's body has a square end.
 
Like all true flies they only have one pair of wings.  The family name Diptera means 'two-wings'.  Instead of the second pair they have two drumstick organs called halteres.  You can see one in my photo, just behind the wing on the right.
 
These insects, also known as crane flies, are on the wing now.  The larvae, which have been chomping away on the grass roots through the summer, pupate and hatch out every September. 
 
 

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