Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)
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The Cranefly Recording Scheme covers the superfamily Tipuloidea (families Tipulidae, Limoniidae, Pediciidae and Cylindrotomidae), but also the unrelated families Trichoceridae (Winter gnats) and Ptychopteridae which are of similar, long-legged general appearance. This amounts to 339 species in total.
Craneflies are obtainable in nearly all weathers, with a long season (including the winter for Trichoceridae). The habitat range is wide but they are particularly plentiful in woodlands and wetlands; some species have aquatic larvae. Craneflies are good ecological indicators and are valuable for site evaluation in many habitats.
Many species are large and distinctive in the field, though some are only 3mm long. It is reasonably easy to identify most species, even with old keys, with the big advantage that male genitalia have good characters, often visible without dissection. New illustrated test keys are available from John Kramer, while a new book on British craneflies is in preparation by Alan Stubbs. Legs tend to drop off, but donít worry Ė for the most part these are optional extras for identification purposes! Either pin fresh or place in envelopes (ideally those used to store photographic negatives) to point-mount later.
The recording scheme began in 1973 and has an enormous amount of data. The scheme has a newsletter and Alan Stubbs will accept material for identification, mounted, or preferably as bulk samples. John Kramer can assist with providing draft keys, giving help with easier identifications and supplying general advice.
Alan Stubbs, 181 Broadway, Peterborough PE1 4DS. Email: Alan.Stubbs@buglife.org.uk
John Kramer, 31 Ash Tree Road, Oadby, Leicester LE2 5TE. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having run an MV light for some years at Ashurst on the edge of the New Forest (SU327112) without having previously seen this spectacular insect, I was surprised to have not just one but two male C. ornata in the trap overnight 27-29/6/08.
Thanks for the records Keith. Spectacular indeed! Do you have any photos?
Are cranefly recording scheme newsletters available online? I've got the current one with the latest Dipterists Forum newsletter, but I was wondering if pdfs of back issues were available.