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Tipulidae - Long-palped Craneflies



NEMATOCERA, Tipulomorpha, Tipuloidea

Number of British species: 87

Size: L

Difficulty: 1-2

Scheme: Covered by the Cranefly recording scheme


Medium sized to very large (7-35 mm) Nematocera with long and slender antennae, wings, legs and abdomen. Tipulidae include some of the largest Diptera. Rostrum well developed and often with nasus; ocelli absent; antenna usually consisting of 13 segments, in some cases more. Thorax with a V-shaped transverse suture. Wing with 2 anal veins and in some species with conspicuous markings; in a few species female with wings short or reduced.


The larvae are rarely aquatic, generally semi-aquatic to terrestrial; some species live in mosses, liverworts, or in dying and decaying wood of deciduous trees. The larvae feed mainly on plant remains and detritus but in a number of species living parts of mosses, liverworts and seed plants are eaten as well; the larvae of Tipula, subgenus Tipula and some Nephrotoma species feed on pasture grasses, tree saplings, young cultivated plants, etc., and can cause serious damage to agriculture as they are often present in large numbers. Tipulidae larvae are an important food source especially for birds. The adults occur in a wide range of habitats varying from dark moist forests to dry semi-deserts or high alpine regions. They do not feed; at most, they rarely drink from dew-drops or take some nectar from flowers and similar liquids.


families/nematocera/tipulidae.txt · Last modified: 2008/05/24 17:00 (external edit)     Back to top
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