Crane Flies in Austin – Not Mosquito Hawks

Those insects that look like giant, Texas-sized mosquitos?… There are many species of these in TX.  However, those giant, “mosquito eating” flies, don’t eat mosquitos at all and are actually called Crane flies.

They are often mistakenly called  “mosquito hawks,” which actually refers to a dragonfly (Odonata). Additionally, it mosquito hawk alsos refer to the large true mosquito species in the genus, Toxorhynchites (Diptera), which have larval stages that are predaceous on mosquito larvae.

Crane flies are large tan-colored fragile flies with long legs. Adults and larvae do not feed on mosquitoes. They eat decaying plant matter.

Why are there so many crane flies in Austin this year? The rain! The recent weather has left an abundance of food for these flies.

Larval forms of crane flies are grey-brown cylindrical larvae which may bear fleshy lobes on the (posterior) end. Occasionally, the segments towards the end of the body can be greatly expanded. They have a very short life span.. Just a few weeks before they die.. Their purposes is to fly around, eat some plant matter and quickly mate before they die.

Large numbers of adult crane flies can be a nuisance indoors; medically harmless.

Unfortunately, this year, because of our wet weather, we should also expect to see a lot more mosquitos and fire ants..

Abundance of Crane Flies this year - Mistakenly called Mosquito Hawks

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