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  Tipulidae: Tipulinae

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Tipulidae: Tipulinae

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| Brachypremna dispellens | Ctenophora (Tanyptera) dorsalis| Ctenophora (Ctenophora) apicata | Ctenophora (Ctenophora) nubecula | Dolichopeza (Dolichopeza) americana| Dolichopeza (Oropeza) carolus | Dolichopeza (Oropeza) tridenticulata | Leptotarsus (Longurio) testaceus | Nephrotoma | Nephrotoma alterna | Nephrotoma ferruginea | Nephrotoma macrocera | Nephrotoma pedunculata | Nephrotoma virescens | Tipula (Arctotipula) | Tipula (Beringotipula) borealis | Tipula (Lindnerina) senega | Tipula (Lunatipula) apicalis | Tipula (Lunatipula) bicornis |Tipula (Lunatipula) dietziana |Tipula (Lunatipula) disjuncta |Tipula (Lunatipula) dorsimacula | Tipula (Lunatipula) duplex |Tipula (Lunatipula) flavibasis| Tipula (Lunatipula) fuliginosa | Tipula (Lunatipula) hirsuta | Tipula (Lunatipula) mallochi | Tipula (Lunatipula) morrisoni | Tipula (Lunatipula) rossmani | Tipula (Lunatipula) valida | Tipula (Nippotipula) abdominalis | Tipula (Nobilotipula) collaris | Tipula (Nobilotipula) nobilis | Tipula (Platytipula) | Tipula (Platytipula) paterifera | Tipula (Platytipula) spenceriana | Tipula (Platytipula) ultima | Tipula (Pterelachisus) entomophthorae |Tipula (Pterelachisus) margarita | Tipula (Pterelachisus) penobscot | Tipula (Pterelachisus) trivittata | Tipula (Savtshenkia) ignobilis| Tipula (Schummelia) hermannia | Tipula (Tipula) |Tipula (Trichotipula) | Tipula (Triplicitipula) colei |Tipula (Vestiplex) longiventris | Tipula (Yamatotipula) | Tipula (Yamatotipula) caloptera | Tipula (Yamatotipula) furca | Tipula (Yamatotipula) sayi | Tipula (Yamatotipula) tephrocephala | Tipula (Yamatotipula) tricolor |
 

Brachypremna dispellens (Walker)  [^Top]

This southern species ranges from Tropical Central and South America to New Jersey, and Indiana, Illinois in the Midwest.  In the northeast, it has not been recorded north of New Jersey, so this represents a slightly northern extension of the known range.  Adult flies 12-17 mm in length.  The pleura are silvery white with narrow brown stripes.  Legs are very long, the femora are brownish black and tibiae and tarsi are pale yellowish white.  This species occurs in woodlands with streams and larvae are found in organic rich soil along streams.  Adult males perform a vertical dance over a height of some four feet.  One generation occurs in June and July in our area. 

 Brachypremna dispellens
by Sasha Jade 
Brachypremna dispellens
(male)

Brachypremna dispellens
by Lew Scharpf

 Larva of Brachypremna dispellens

Ctenophora (Tanyptera) dorsalis Walker   [^Top]

Adult crane flies of this species are highly polished, and black, yellow or red in color.  They superficially resemble ichneumonid wasps than other crane flies.  Antennal segments of male branched (three branches on each segment) and of female either branched or serrate.  The female of this species has elongated acicular ovipositor.  They frequent open, wet or mixed woodlands.  The larvae live in decaying wood of recently dead deciduous hardwood trees, often in prostrate trunks that are fairly sound.

This species exhibits extreme polymorphism in body color and body size of both sexes.  The following images are of the same scale to show the ranges in body size (16-28 mm) and the color variation within species.  The wing colors also vary from smoky-black, brown, brownish-yellow, to transparent.  The two mating pair images below show  copulation between two color forms.

Ctenophora dorsalis (female) Ctenophora dorsalis (female)

Ctenophora dorsalis (female)
by David Funk

     
Ctenophora dorsalis (male) Ctenophora dorsalis (male) Ctenophora dorsalis (male)
     
Ctenophora dorsalis (male) Ctenophora dorsalis (male) Ctenophora dorsalis (male)
     
Ctenophora dorsalis Photo by Julie LePage
   

Ctenophora dorsalis Photo by Jason Widlacki

 

Ctenophora dorsalis Photo by Tom Murray
Ctenophora dorsalis mating pair by John and Jane Balaban Ctenophora dorsalis mating pair by John and Jane Balaban

Ctenophora (Ctenophora) apicata (Osten Sacken)   [^Top]

Adult flies of this species also vary in body color from black to reddish-yellow with dark markings.  Wings also exhibit various patterns, either entirely darkened, or yellowish, with the entire apex beyond the cord strongly darkened.  They differ from the previous species in that the male antennae branched with only two branches in each segment, and the female has a relatively short ovipositor.  Adults are often found flying about in open woodlands.  The larvae of this species also live in decaying wood.

 
  Ctenophora apicata photo by Erik Blosser   Ctenophora apicata (female)
Ctenophora apicata (male)  

Ctenophora apicata Photo by Dave Polletier

Ctenophora (Ctenophora) nubecula Osten Sacken    [^Top]

Adult flies of this species are less variable in body color than the previous species.  Wings are nearly hyaline, tinged with yellow in costal region with a large brown cloud between cord and wing-tips, not reaching the apex.  Thorax is yellow in color with a wedge shaped median brown stripe.  Adults are often found flying about in open woodlands.  The larvae of this species also live in decaying wood.

Ctenophora nubecula (male)

 Ctenophora nubecula female by Tleilaxu

Ctenophora nubecula (female)

Dolichopeza (Dolichopeza) americana Needham   [^Top]

Flies of the genus Dolichopeza have legs that are usually long and slender.  Most of the species in our area are very similar in appearance and are most readily separated by characters of the external structures of male genitalia.  Dr. George W. Byers (1961) published a detailed study of this group.  The adults are among the local flies often found in small dancing groups in darkened shady places, as in shaded spots in woods, beneath culverts and bridges, in outhouses, in crannies and caverns of shaded cliffs, beneath overhanging boulders, in hollows in standing or fallen trees, in the shade of uprooted shallow tree roots, and other shady places.  They hang from the roof of their haunts by either two or four legs, with the rest of the legs hanging pendant.  The larvae are sluggish and of a rather dark green color.  They feed on moss and are often found in moss cushions.  One or two generations have been observed in our area. 

In North America, Dolichopeza americana is the only species in its subgenus.  They can be separated from all the other Dolichopeza species by having their wings with cell 1st M2 open, and by adult flies having brown legs except all the tarsal segments that are snowy white.

Dolichopeza americana (female) Dolichopeza americana (male)

Dolichopeza (Oropeza) carolus Alexander   [^Top]

All the other species of Dolichopeza in our area belong to the subgenus Oropeza.  Some of these species are so closely resemble one another that they can be distinguishable only by microscopic examination.  There is some ecological separation of the species determined by the microhabitat.  Darker colored species are usually present in deeply shaded environments, and those with lighter colored tend to be found in more open shade of forest and marsh vegetation.  Dolichopeza carolus is the only local species in this subgenus that has snowy white tarsi; all the other species within subgenus Oropeza have dark brown, brown or yellowish tarsi.

Dolichopeza carolus (male) Dolichopeza carolus by Tom Murray Dolichopeza carolus (female)

Dolichopeza (Oropeza) tridenticulata  Alexander    [^Top]

Dolichopeza tridenticulata has a dusky brown color and are easily found in great numbers at their shaded daytime haunts often with other dark colored Dolichopeza species.  They are often taken from exposed tree roots, overhanging banks, and places offering deep shade.  This is one of the smaller species in the group with body sized of 7 - 12mm, and wings 8 – 13mm.  There are two emergence peaks in our area in June and August.  Previously known range is from Manitoba to Quebec and Maine, southward to Missouri and Georgia.

Dolichopeza tridenticulata (male) Dolichopeza tridenticulata by Mike Lanzone Dolichopeza tridenticulata (female)
Dolichopeza tridenticulata by Mike Lanzone Dolichopeza tridenticulata by Mike Lanzone

Other species of  Dolichopeza (Oropeza) group:    [^Top]

Dolichopeza johnsonella
(male)
 Dolichopeza obscura
(male)
   
Dolichopeza polita (male)  Dolichopeza similis (male)

Dolichopeza species by Giff Beaton

     
 
Dolichopeza subvenosa
(male)
Dolichopeza walleyi
(male)

 


Leptotarsus (Longurio) testaceus (Loew)   [^Top]

Both male and female adults of this species have greatly elongated abdomen (50-60 mm), somewhat resembling that of a dragonfly.  It is one of the largest crane flies in local fauna.  Adults of this species occur locally in July.  The adult flies are found near rapidly flowing streams in cool, shaded woods.  They usually hang from tree branches along wooded streams.  They are very wary and difficult to catch, usually alighting in midst of brush and make it impossible to capture by net. 

The larvae are aquatic, living in sand or gravel in the streambed.  The semi-transparent larvae of this species and the larvae of Tipula abdominalis are probably the two largest crane fly larvae to be found in streams of eastern North America.
 

Leptotarsus testaceus (female) Leptotarsus testaceus (male)

Leptotarsus testaceus by Giff Beaton


Genus Nephrotoma Meigen           [^Top]

The genus Nephrotoma includes about 475 recognized species worldwide, with a total of 40 species in the Nearctic Region (Oosterbroek 2005).  Nineteen species were documented to occur in Pennsylvania through our field research and two potential species are likely to be found in the future (see PA Checklists).  The genus Nephrotoma is largely diagnosed based on wing venation.  Wings have Rs very short and oblique in position and cell M1 sessile or short-petiolate (see image below).  Their body color tends to be yellow, orange and often variegated with black.  They may be distinguished with other large crane fly in our area by their polished body coloration.  A very few species of Tipula (Nobilotipula) also have polished body; the characters used to separate them apart are listed under Nephrotoma pedunculata.

Nephrotoma alterna by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland

Nephrotoma alterna (Walker)   [^Top]

The adult flies are 10-16 mm in size.  Body coloration of flies of this species is general yellow and conspicuously variegated by black, including three praescutal stripes; the outer pair curved lateral into an opaque black spot.  The wing tips are  darkened.  This is a characteristic future for this species.  This is a woodland species and is commonly found in the bottomland woods, and in the moist thickets along streams.  Females were often observed ovipositing into wet soil in forest floor.

 Nephrotoma alterna Nephrotoma alterna Photo by Gahan Gehale Nephrotoma alterna
Nephrotoma alterna male by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Nephrotoma alterna wing by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Nephrotoma alterna male antennae by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland
Nephrotoma alterna  male genitalia dorsal viewby Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Nephrotoma alterna  male genitalia lateral viewby Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Nephrotoma alterna  male genitalia ventral viewby Gayle and Jeanell Strickland
Nephrotoma alterna female by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Nephrotoma alterna female ovipositor lateral view by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Nephrotoma alterna female by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland

Nephrotoma eucera (Loew)     [^Top]

The adult flies are 15-20 mm in size.  Flies of this species are yellow in thorax color with polished mesonotum, and have lateral black dashes on dorsum of abdominal segments.  Flies of both sexes have bicolored antennae with base yellow and more than 16 segments.  This species occurs throughout the summer with two peak emergence, in June.  They are common in bottomland forests and more mesic parts of the oak forest.  Previously known range is from Wisconsin to Quebec and Massachusetts, southward to Kansas, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Nephrotoma eucera by Thomas of Baltimore Nephrotoma eucera male Nephrotoma eucera by Thomas of Baltimore

Nephrotoma ferruginea (Fabricius)  [^Top]

This is one of the first North American crane flies to be described.  It is the most common and widespread species in the genus Nephrotoma in our area and the one most likely to be found in urban and suburban habitats.  Species of Nephrotoma can be recognized by their short, oblique Rs vein, and by their highly polished body coloration.  The adults of N. ferruginea are 12-16 mm in size and are rusty red with a row of black triangular spots on the dorsal side of the abdomen.  They can easily be found in grasslands, lawns, and the edges of woods.  Males can be found flying up and down around small bushes in search of females during the early morning and late afternoon.  The larvae of this species inhabit earth or leaf mold and feed on decaying plant debris and grass roots.  Two generations occur in Pennsylvania, one in May and the other in September.

 Nephrotoma ferruginea Nephrotoma ferruginea by Tom Murray Nephrotoma ferruginea Nephrotoma ferruginea
by Tony DiTerlizzi

Nephrotoma ferruginea male by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland

Nephrotoma ferruginea male by Philip Penketh
Nephrotoma ferruginea male antennae by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Nephrotoma ferruginea female antennae by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Nephrotoma ferruginea female ovipositor dorsal view  by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland
Nephrotoma ferruginea male genitalia dorsal view by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Nephrotoma ferruginea male genitalia lateral view by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Nephrotoma ferruginea male genitalia ventral posterior view by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland

Nephrotoma macrocera (Say)     [^Top]

The adult flies are 12-17 mm in size.  Flies of this species are yellow to pale yellow in thorax color, and have lateral black dashes on dorsum of abdominal segments.  Males flies have very long (10-11 mm), bicolored antennae.  This species occurs throughout the summer with two peaks of emergence, in June and August.  They are common in bottomland forests and more mesic parts of the oak forest.  Previously known range is from Wisconsin to Maine, southward to Kansas, Tennessee, and Florida.

Nephrotoma macrocera male by Thomas of Baltimore Nephrotoma macrocera  male Nephrotoma macrocera  male By Thomas of Baltimore

Nephrotoma macrocera female by Stephen Cresswell Nephrotoma macrocera  female

Nephrotoma pedunculata (Loew) [^Top]

Nephrotoma pedunculata

Nephrotoma pedunculata by Tom Murray

This is one of the North American Nephrotoma species in our area that has highly polished body coloration.  The adults of N. pedunculata are 13-17 mm in size and are orange-yellow, heavily patterned with black.  The head with a distinct dark triangular occipital brand located at posterior edge.  The wings are uniformly subhyaline with yellow costal border and dark brown stigma.  The basal five abdominal segments are yellow with conspicuous bands of black at posterior end.  Their polished body coloration is similar to a few species of Tipula in the subgenus Nobilotipula, especially Tipula collaris and T. nobilis.  The following two characters can separate them readily.  First, the Rs in Nephrotoma is short, while it is relatively long in Nobilotipula.  Also in females, species of Nephrotoma have a pointed ovipositor, while it is blunt in Nobilotipula.  The images below illustrate the differences between these two groups.

Nephrotoma pedunculata can be found in the edges of woods.  Females can be observed bouncing up and down laying eggs along trails in wooded areas, especially over slightly damp forest floors.  Like most of the Nephrotoma, larvae of this species inhabit earth or leaf mold and feed on decaying plant debris and grass roots.

Nephrotoma pedunculata by Tom Murray

Nephrotoma pedunculata laying eggs by Tom Murray

Nephrotoma virescens (Loew)  [^Top]

The adult flies are 10-12 mm in size.  Flies of this species show strongly greenish coloration in life, and paling to yellow in preserved specimens.  Thoracic stripes black and curved laterally into a velvety-black spot, abdomen often with black markings.  A woodland species and males are frequently observed flying close to the forest floor in search of freshly emerged females. 

 
  Nephrotoma virescens 

Nephrotoma virescens
by Lynette Schimming

Nephrotoma virescens

Nephrotoma virescens
by Sasha Jade

Nephrotoma virescens emerging
by Thomas of Baltimore

Other related species of Nephrotoma:    [^Top]

  Nephrotoma cingulata  Nephrotoma macrocera 

Nephrotoma tenuis

     

 Nephrotoma eucera  Nephrotoma alterna

Nephrotoma pedunculata

 Nephrotoma ferruginea
 by Tony DiTerlizzi
  Nephrotoma tenuis
by Lew Scharpf 
Nephrotoma pedunculata
by Tom Murray

 

 

Tipula (Arctotipula) williamsiana Alexander   [^Top]

This distinctively large (26-34 mm), early spring species of crane fly occurs in late March through mid April in our area.  Although it was originally described from two sites in South Carolina and Tennessee in 1940, there have been no subsequent literature records for this species.  This despite large numbers of stream surveys conducted throughout Eastern North America in the last 30 years.

Our study discovered this species in 1986 in Powdermill Nature Reserve, Westmoreland County for the state record of Pennsylvania.  The preliminary results of our survey indicated this species has a very limited distribution, unusual habitat requirements or both.  This species has been collected mainly in the vicinity of non-polluted spring-fed headwater streams and does not occur in any of the acid-polluted streams.  This unique requirement for its habitat shows great potential for this species to serve as reliable indicator for ecosystem health.

This species is the first large crane fly to occur in spring and probably serves as a steady food source for several of the small migratory songbirds such as Louisiana water thrushes along streams in its habitat.  Carnegie Museum surveys have also taken additional specimens of this species from West Virginia.

 
    Tipula williamsiana   Tipula williamsiana female laying eggs 

   

Tipula williamsiana Tipula williamsiana male by Tom Murray

Tipula (Beringotipula) borealis Walker    [^Top]

The adults of this species reach 13-17 mm in size and have wings variously clouded and spotted with brown and gray.  Antennae are bicolorous and elongated in males.  This species is most numerous in midsummer and commonly found in wet woodlands. Larvae of this species occur in well-rotted logs, under the surface mosses or in the very decayed outer layers of fallen tree trunks, in saturated forest soil (Gelhaus, 1986).

   
Tipula borealis Tipula borealis by Tony DiTerlizzi Tipula borealis

Tipula (Lindnerina) senega Alexander   [^Top]

This is primarily a spring boreal species and often was collected at lights.  They were also commonly found in low herbaceous plants at edge of woods.  Adult flies are pale yellow in color and their wings are patterned with pale clouds.  Female ovipositor has relatively short and broad cerci.  Adults reach 12-15 mm in length.  Larvae stages are unknown.

 
Tipula senega Tipula (Lindnerina) senege by Tom Murray  

Tipula (Lindnerina) senege by Tom Murray Tipula senega

Tipula (Lunatipula) apicalis Loew   [^Top]

Subgenus Lunatipula, with 12 documented species and another equal number of potential species, is one of the two large subgenera within genus Tipula in our area.  Some of the characters for Lunatiipula are: Squama with a group of setae; Veins beyond cord often with trichia; tibial spur formula 1-2-2; claws usually with basal tooth; and male genitalia with tergite and sternite distinct.

Adults of Tipula apicalis are 12-16 mm in size and locally abundant in forest edges and also on herbaceous plants in grassy fields.   One spring generation occurs in May and June in our area. Wing cells beyond cord of wing darkened, wing-apex narrowly but conspicuously darkened and this is the most distinct character for this species.  Larvae of this species inhabit rich humid woodland soil with pieces of rotting wood.  As most of larvae in the subgenus Lunatipula, this species has their dorsal spiracular lobes heavily sclerotized, and they also have golden-yellow macroscopic hairs on their dorsum.

 

 

Tipula apicalis

Tipula apicalis

Tipula (Lunatipula) bicornis Fabricius   [^Top]

Adults are 12-14 mm in size and locally abundant in forest edges and can be found on herbaceous plants in grassy fields.   One spring generation occurs in May and June in our area.  Mating pairs of fully matured males and newly emerged females were often observed in grassland during their peak flight season.   Larvae of this species inhabit grassland and open fields.   Crane flies of the bicornis group have their wings with cell 1st M2 very small, pentagonal, the upper face shorter than or subequal to the petiole of cell M1; ovipositor with short fleshy cerci; male genitalia enlarge, the tergite variously armed with fleshy lobes (Alexander 1942).

Tipula bicornis Tipula bicornis by Tony DiTerlizzi Tipula bicornis
 
Tipula bicornis female by Steve Scott Tipula bicornis mating pair by Steve Scott Tipula bicornis male by Beatriz Moisset

Tipula (Lunatipula) dietziana Alexander   [^Top]

Adults are 16-22 mm in size and locally abundant on moist, north-facing hillsides, and also on herbaceous plants in grassy fields.  One spring generation occurs in April through early May and is one of the early spring species in our area.  Body color of mesonotum is gray or grayish, praescutum has three brown stripes, and pleura are light gray.  Wings are lightly darkening in costal region or along vein Cu.  Previously known range from Kansas to New York and South Carolina.

Tipula dietziana Tipula dietziana female by Tom Murray Tipula dietziana

Tipula (Lunatipula) disjuncta  Walker       [^Top]

Adult males are 16-19 mm in size and females are 15-17 mm in size.  The colors of two sexes in this species are strongly dimorphic.  Males have thoracic dorsum yellowish, with three brown stripes; abdominal tergites are yellow, interruptedly trivittate with brown; wings are brownish subhyaline; antennae are long about 8-9 mm.  Females have wings reduced in size and brownish black in color; abdominal tergites have bright yellow median vitta; antennae are short about 5-6 mm.  This species is locally abundant in hardwood forests.  One spring generation mainly occurs in May.  This species is previously known from Iowa to Vermont, southward to Illinois and Delaware.  Recently it has been recorded from Louisiana (East Feliciana Parish, 20 April 2007 Gayle and Jeanell Strickland).  Larvae of this species inhabit woodland habitats usually in the upper soil under leaf litter.  As most of larvae in the subgenus Lunatipula, this species has their dorsal spiracular lobes heavily sclerotized, and they also have golden-yellow macroscopic hairs on their dorsum. The only other species in this group that shows some dimorphism in our area is Tipula (Lunatipula) fuliginosa (Say).

     
male Tipula disjuncta Tipula disjuncta by Bev Wigney  female Tipula disjuncta
Tipula disjuncta male genitalia dorsal view by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Tipula disjuncta by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Tipula disjuncta male genitalia lateral view by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland

Tipula (Lunatipula) dorsimacula Walker        [^Top]

Adult males are 15-18 mm in size and female are longer about 20-25 mm in size.  Wing cells beyond cord are darkened, conspicuously variegated by whitish in redial cells beyond the stigma.  Antennae are stout and uniformly dark in color; the bases of flagellar segments slightly reddish.  Praescutal stripes on thorax are dark gray, narrowly margined with brown.  Abdominal tergites are orange, trivittate with black.  Females have elongated abdomen that exposed beyond the tips of the wings when at rest.  One generation occurs in April/May in our area.  Males were usually found in the morning, together with Tipula dietziana flying low over the damp leaf mold in search of freshly emerged females.  Females are inactive, usually found walking on ground or resting on lower vegetations.  This species has a wide distribution range previously known from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, southward to California and New Jersey. Larvae are found in terrestrial habitats, usually under a thick layer of litter and moist leaf mold in woodland soil.

 
Tipula dorsimacula male Tipula dorsimacula    female  Photo by Bruce Marlin  
Tipula dorsimacula   female   Photo by Phil Myers Tipula dorsimacula  male Photo by S Kassam

Tipula (Lunatipula) duplex Walker   [^Top]

This medium-large species (16-22 mm) has a long flight period.  It occurs in late June, peaks in mid-July and lasts well into early September.  The adults are abundant in dry woodlands, hillside woods and bottomlands.  It is the most conspicuous Tipula species throughout woodland habitats in our area during summer time.  Like most species of the subgenus Lunatipula, larvae of this group are found in terrestrial habitats, usually under a thick layer of litter and moist leaf mold in woodland soil.

 
Tipula duplex Tipula duplex

Tipula (Lunatipula) flavibasis Alexander  [^Top]

The adult of this species is a moderate size about 11-14 mm, yellowish brown species.  Antennae of this species have the bases of the flagellar segments light yellow, and the remainder segments black.  Larvae are found in forest soil and presumably feed on decaying leaves. This species was described from Kansas in 1918.  Although recorded by Young (1978) also from Kansas, its distribution has not been expanded in the literature.  The species was found in western Pennsylvania (Greene County) in 1994, an extension of range of nearly 900 miles. 

   
Tipula flavibasis      Tipula flavibasis

Tipula (Lunatipula) fuliginosa (Say)  [^Top]

This medium-large size (15-17) crane fly is a common element of the woodland crane fly fauna.  Females usually found in damp thickets along creeks and moist grassy patches in bottomland woods.  Males and females of this species are strongly dimorphic in color.  Males are bright orange and wings are yellow basally and more clouded apically with small brown spots along costal margins.  Females are much darker and wings are blackened, variegated by whitish before and at cord.  Male genitalia is asymmetrical with right basistyle produced caudad as a prominent bispinous arm; left basistyle terminating in a small spine (see image below).

 
Tipula fuliginosa by Tom Murray  female Tipula fuliginosa  
male Tipula fuliginosa Tipula fuliginosa by Marvin and Jo Smith Tipula fuliginosa by Marvin and Jo Smith  
Showing the asymmetrical male genitalia

Tipula fuliginosa by Philip Penketh

Tipula (Lunatipula) hirsuta Doane   [^Top]

This large Tipula was usually found in damp thickets along the creek and moist, grassy patches in bottomland woods.  They are also often collected at lights.  The adult flies reach 21-25 mm in size.  This species and the closely related species Tipula valida (22-24 mm) are slightly dimorphic in color; males are light yellow and females are grayish-yellow.  This species differs from T. valida in the structures of male genitalia.  Males of T. hirsuta have a median tuft of long yellow setae on the eighth sternite and short tergal horns.  Males of T. valida have no long yellow setae on the eighth sternite and long tergal horns.

Tipula hirsuta Tipula hirsuta female by Jay Cossey Tipula hirsuta

Tipula (Lunatipula) mallochi Alexander and Tipula (Lunatipula) submaculata Loew [^Top]

These two species are extremely similar in appearance.  The cells beyond cord of their wings are darkened and variegated by whitish in radial cells beyond the stigma.  Cells basad of cord are uniformly pale in color.  Their antennal segments are bicolorous, with bases of segments darker than remainder.  Male genitalia of Tipula mallochi has shorter tergal horns and the posterior lobe of inner dististyle broad, the apex are truncated.

 
Tipula mallochi male     Tipula mallochi female by Bruce Marlin Tipula mallochi female

 

Male genitalia of Tipula submaculata has long and slender tergal horns and the posterior lobe of inner dististyle produced into a slender point and with apex bifid.  The females of these two species are difficult to separate when not associated with males.

 

   

Tipula submaculata

Tipula submaculata By Tom Murray

Tipula submaculata

 
  Tipula submaculata by Mike Lanzone Tipula submaculata by Mike Lanzone

Tipula (Lunatipula) monticola Alexander   [^Top]

Adults are 17-26 mm in size and locally abundant in the low, damp parts of the mixed forests and bottomland forests, rare from drier and open parts of hillside woods.  Most often found on upper leaves of low shrubs.  One generation occurs in June and through summer months in our area.  Body color of mesonotum is brownish or yellow, pleura has thin white pruinosity, praescutum is opaque with distinct ornage-brown stripes.  Antennal segments beyond the first two segments are bicolored.

 

Tipula monticola

Tipula monticola by Tom Murray

Tipula monticola

Tipula (Lunatipula) morrisoni  Alexander

Adults are 15-16 mm in size and are yellow in color with bicolorous antennae.  This species is locally abundant in open woods and dries hill-side woods; and are usually found among lower leaves of trees.  One spring generation occurs in May and June in our area.  This species and Tipula bicornis belong to the bicornis group that their wings have a small 1st cell and are pentagonal in shape.  The male hypogygium in this group is usually enlarged and female ovipositor has small fleshy cerci.  

Tipula morrisoni  male Tipula morrisoni  male Photo by David Larson Tipula morrisoni  female

Tipula (Lunatipula) rossmani Byers     [^Top]

This species was described from Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana in 2003.  There are recently confirmed records of this species from both Oklahoma (Okmulgee County, 12 March 2007, Charles Schurch Lewallen) and Illinois (Wayne County, April 2006; 25 March 2007, Steve Scott), apparently an early spring species. This species has not yet been recorded from Pennsylvania, but it is on the potential species list and is likely that it would be reported when more field studies are conducted in the southwest part of the state.  This species was collected both in lawns and in wooded areas.  Males were usually found in the morning flying low in search of freshly emerged females.  Mating pairs usually consist of callow females.

Adult flies of this species are 8.5-9.2 mm in length and have three dull brown, longitudinal stripes on prescutum.  Wings are tinged with yellowish brown, paler area from inner edge of stigma to inner end of cell 1st M2.  Ovipositors of female short, soft and truncated apically.  Because of having a short, outwardly pointed cell 1st M2 in the wings and short, fleshy cerci in the female, Tipula rossmani would be identified as belonging to what Alexander called “the bicornis group” of subgenus Lunatipula (Byers, 2003).

Tipula rossmani  Photo by Steve Scott Tipula rossmani by Charles Lewallen
Tipula rossmani  by Steve Scott Tipula rossmani by Charles Lewallen Tipula rossmani  by Steve Scott

Tipula (Lunatipula) valida Loew      [^Top]

Adults are 22-24 mm in size and sexes are dimorphic in color.  Males have yellow praescutum with four entire brownish stripes; females are yellowish gray, with four darker strips.  Males have large hypopygium with the lateral tergal horns long and prominent.  There is no brush of long yellow setae on the eighth sternite.  This species differs from the closed related T. hirsute in the structures of male genitalia.  Males of T. hirsuta have a median tuft of long yellow setae on the eighth sternite and short tergal horns.  Females of T. valida have their wings with cells basad of cord strongly variegated by whitish areas and shorter ovipositors.  Larvae of both species are found in terrestrial habitats, usually under a thick layer of litter and moist leaf mold in woodland soil.

Tipula valida (male) Tipula valida male by Thomas Bentley Tipula valida male genitalia dorsal posterior view by Thomas Bentley

Tipula valida (female) Tipula valida   female by Thomas Bentley Tipula valida female ovipositor dorsal posterior view by Thomas Bentley

Tipula (Nippotipula) abdominalis (Say)   [^Top]

The largest crane fly in the state of Pennsylvania, the adult of this species has a brownish gray thorax with a velvety black area on the dorsal side.  The abdomen is orange with a black line on the side, and the posterior end of the abdomen is black.  The wings are semitransparent with several brown areas along the front edge.  The females reach about 40 mm in size, while the males are slightly smaller.  The larvae of this species are aquatic and among the largest and most common aquatic invertebrates in streams of wooded areas, and are sought out as bait for fish.  Larvae feed on decomposing leaves, thus playing an important role of breaking down organic matter in the water.  Two generations occur, more numerous in late summer than in spring.

   
 Tipula abdominalis  Tipula abdominalis
 
     
  Tipula abdominalis  by Troy Bartlett   

 

Tipula (Nobilotipula) collaris Say  [^Top]

General coloration of this species is polished yellow and black, almost as in Nephrotoma.  Adults (10-14 mm) are on the wing during late April and May, some persisting into June.  This species may be found in its habitat together with its related species Tipula (Nobilotipula) nobilis (Loew).  Larvae of both species have been found beneath saturated moss.

Tipula collaris by Jane Ruffin Tipula collaris (female) Tipula collaris (male)

Tipula (Nobilotipula) nobilis (Loew)

General coloration of this species is also polished yellow and black.  Adults are 12-14 mm in size.  This specie is different from the above species by having their praescutal stripes polished black; pleura light yellow and the basal tergite of their first abdominal segment not pruinose.  There is one generation occurs in our area mainly in June.  Larvae are semi-aquatic usually are found in damp soil along streams and creeks in woods.

   
Tipula nobilis (female) Tipula nobilis (male) Tipula nobilis by Steve Marshall

Tipula (Platytipula) hugginsi Gelhaus   [^Top]

The adult of Tipula (Platytipula) huggisi is large (17-34 mm), handsome, and has yellowish wings with black streaks.  It co-occurs with and can be confused with a commoner related species, Tipula (Platytipula) ultima.  The most easily observed character for distinguishing male of these two species is in T. hugginsi, male ninth tergite with broadly emarginated with dentate margin only dorsally, while in T. ultima the dentate margin dorsally and continuing posteriorly.  Larvae were collected from moss mats and leaf packs in intermittent streams where they feed on decaying leaves.  Larvae diapause along the edge of the creek when the creek dries in the summer, and adults emerge in fall.

 

Tipula hugginsi

Tipula (Platytipula) paterifera Alexander   [^Top]

This species is an autumnal species (16-19 mm), locally occurred in late September and October, found especially in lawn, grassy areas, and humid areas along ponds, marshes, and streams.  Head and thorax are gray, abdomen chiefly brownish-yellow, and the abdominal tergite with a median brown stripe.  Wings tinged with brown and with costal margin darken. 

The larvae of this species are terrestrial root feeders and have been recorded living in soil in gardens, pastures, meadows or golf courses, usually beneath turf and areas where there are build-up of thatch.  They feed on roots of grasses, seedlings and crops, thus causing commercial losses and are considered to be turf and pasture pests when large number is present.  Adults are active in later afternoon and they come rather freely to light at night. 

This largely midwest species (Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee) has spread all the way to the east coast (New Jersey, Maryland) in the last two decades.  This species has not previously been recorded from Pennsylvania; it represents a state record and is now widespread in Pennsylvania.  Emergences of large number of adult flies of this species have been observed in last few years from Adams, York, Lancaster, Chester, Bucks, Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties.

 
  Tipula paterifera Tipula paterifera 
 
  Tipula paterifera  by Tom Murray Tipula paterifera  by Bruce Marlin

Tipula (Platytipula) spenceriana Alexander   [^Top]

The adult flies of this species are 15-17 mm in size and are closest to Tipula (Platytipula) ultima, in appearance.  The two species are most readily separated by the details of structures of the male genitalia.  In this species the ninth tergite has its lateral lobes narrowly blackened and microscopically toothed, with the outermost teeth largest.  This species was found at two localities in Pennsylvania (Allegheny, Philadelphia) and was uncommon although the related species, T. ultima, was usually abundant in the same habitats.

 

Tipula spenceriana

Tipula (Platytipula) ultima Alexander   [^Top]

This large species (18-25mm) occurs widely in eastern United State and Canada.  Wings of this species strongly suffused with yellow or brownish-yellow sparsely patterned with brown.  Adults of this species emerge after the late summer rains and are common in September and early October.  It is one of the most conspicuous autumnal crane flies.  Adults occur locally in herbaceous growth in lowland woods and edges of woods, particularly in the vicinity of streams.

   
Tipula ultima    Tipula (Platytipula) species by Tony DiTerlizzi
   
Tipula (Platytipula)  species by Tom Murray   Tipula ultima

Tipula (Pterelachisus) entomophthorae  Alexander    [^Top]

Adult flies in the subgenus Pterelachisus are characterized by their heavily patterned wings with variously clouded and spotted with brown or gray.  They also have naked squama, 1-2-2 spur formula and claws with basal tooth. Larvae of this group live beneath the bark of much decayed trunks or under the layers of moss that often cover fallen trees.  This species is about 14-20 mm in body size, has distinct bicolor antennae.  Three other closely related species Tipula (Pterelachisus) margarita Alexander, Tipula (Pterelachisus) penobscot Alexander, and Tipula (Pterelachisus) trivittata Say share the woodland habitats with this species.  Details to separate these three species rest on the structures of male genitalia.  Male hypogygium of this species has a V-shaped notch on the ninth tergite.

Tipula entomophthorae Tipula entomophthorae

Tipula (Pterelachisus) margarita  Alexander     [^Top]

Adult flies of this species are slightly smaller than other species in this group, they are about 13-20 mm in size.  Their bodies have the deepest dark vitta especially on the female abdominal segments.  Male hypogygium has a narrow U-shaped notch.  Hair-pencils of eighth sternite are long, and curved.

Tipula margarita  Tipula margarita 

Tipula (Pterelachisus) penobscot   Alexander       [^Top]

General coloration of this species is brownish gray, the praescutal stripes are relatively indistinct and the basal parts of the wings are less patterened.  The ninth tergite of male hypopygium has shallow U-shaped notch with three small teeth on the inner edge.  The basistyle of male hypogygium develops into an acute spine.  One generation occurs in June/July in our area.

Tipula penobscot Tipula penobscot

Tipula (Pterelachisus) trivittata Say   [^Top]

The adult of this species is another large (15-22 mm) common woodland species in our area.  Adults fly during a large part of the season from May through August.  Their wings are clouded with brown and gray spots.  The dorsal part of the abdomen has three more or less distinct brown stripes.   

   
Tipula trivittata Tipula trivittata by Stephen Cresswell Tipula trivittata
 
Tipula trivittata by Marvin and Jo Smith  
Tipula (Pterelachisus) species by Tom Murray Tipula (Pterelachisus) species
by Bev Wigney
Tipula (Pterelachisus) species
by Bev Wigney

Tipula (Savtshenkia) ignobilis (Loew)   [^Top]

This species is chiefly a spring crane fly of about 10-14 mm in size and occurs in May and June in our area.  They are commonly found on moss-covered tree trunks along streams.  Their related species Tipula (Savtshenkia) fragilis Loew is an autumnal species found mainly in September and October.

       
Tipula ignobilis Tipula ignobilis Tipula fragilis Tipula fragilis

Tipula (Schummelia) hermannia Alexander   [^Top]

Subgenus Schummelia is a small group of crane fly with three species in our area.  They adult are about 11-13 mm in size and with patterned wings.  Adult flies are mostly found resting on moss covered tree bark in woodlands, and larvae are found in damp leaf mold in seepage areas in woodlands.

 
Tipula hermannia by Steve Marshall Tipula hermannia Tipula hermannia by Tom Murray 

Tipula (Tipula) paludosa Meigen and Tipula (Tipula) oleracea Linnaeus   [^Top]

Crane flies belonging to the subgenus Tipula are mainly found in the Old World.  In recent years two wide spread European species of this group, Tipula paludosa, the so-called common European crane fly, and Tipula oleracea, the marsh crane fly have found their way into the New World presumably through various agricultural import practices.  Both species have become established across Canada and spread considerably in the Pacific Northwest including British Columbia, Oregon, Washington and part of northern California.  There are also recently confirmed sightings of Tipula oleracea in Michigan (Gelhaus 2005) and both species in New York (Lang 2005).   Tipula oleracea has also become established in the Andes of Ecuador (Young 2000).  Although these two species have not yet been recorded in Pennsylvania, it is likely that they will eventually reach Pennsylvania considering the recent sighting of them in New York and Michigan.

       
 Tipula paludosa male Tipula paludosa by Michel Pilon   Tipula paludosa by Lew Scharpf  Tipula paludosa female
 
     
     
 Tipula oleracea male  Tipula oleracea by Anonymous  Tipula oleracea female
     
Tipula oleracea male genitalia lateral view
Illustrated by Chen Young
Tipula oleracea male genitalia left inner dististyle dorsal view
Illustrated by Chen Young

Larvae of Tipula (Tipula), commonly known as leatherjackets, are terrestrial root feeders and have been recorded living in soil in gardens, pastures, or meadows, usually beneath turf.  They feed on roots of grasses, seedlings and crops, thus causing commercial losses and both species are considered to be turf and pasture pests.

Eggs, larva and pupa of Tipula (Tipula) paludosa, Courtesy of Oregon State University Extension

The adult crane flies of both species are somewhat similar in appearance to the native species of Tipula (Platytipula) paterifera.  They all have a slender, yellowish body of 16-25mm in length, and large grayish wings with a brown front margin.  Adults of all these three species occur in the fall from late August to mid October, although T. oleracea also has a spring appearance in May.  Tipula paterifera however has a smaller and narrower outer dististyle compared to T. paludosa and T. oleracea.  These two introduced crane flies are extremely similar species.  A character for distinguishing the two species apart is the separation of the compound eyes on the ventral surface (underside) of the head. The space between the eyes of T. oleracea is narrow, and that of T. paludosa is much wider (LaGasa, 1999).  See below images which were provided by Stephen Luk.

Tipula oleracea with narrow gap between eyes (ventral view) Photo by Stephen Luk Tipula paludosa with wider gap between eyes (ventral view) Photo by Stephen Luk
   
Tipula paterifera Tipula paterifera by Bruce Marlin Tipula paterifera

Tipula (Trichotipula) algonquin Alexander   [^Top]

Four species in this group were found in our area.  The distinct character to distinguish Trichotipula from all the other Tipula species is their outer cells of wings have macrotrichia.  Adult of this species are about 12-14 mm in body length and are dull brown and yellow in body color.  The antennae are uniformly darkened except the basal two segments are dull yellow.  Locally a late summer and full species occur in late July to September.

Tipula algonquin Tipula algonquin female by Tom Murray Tipula algonquin

Tipula (Trichotipula) oropezoides Johnson  [^Top]

Tipula orogezoides are about 13-16 mm in body length and dull gray to yellowish gray in body color.  This species has an extensive trichiation in their wings, the macrotrichia are found in all apical cells from R1 to M4.  Larvae of this subgenus are often found in moderate dry soil slightly below the soil surface in hillside woods.

   

Tipula oropezoides

Tipula oropezoides

Tipula oropezoides by Tom Murray

Tipula oropezoides by Tom Murray

Tipula (Trichotipula) stonei Alexander   [^Top]

Tipula stonei are about 12-16 mm in body length and have a bright polished yellow body coloration.  The macrotrichia on their wing cells are relatively restricted, confined to cells R3 to 2nd M2.  Adults were often found resting on algae-covered tree trunks near hillside seepage areas or on leaves of lower branches of trees.  The fourth species of this group in our area is T. unimaculata.

   
Tipula stonei Tipula stonei
 
Tipula unimaculata Tipula unimaculata  

Tipula (Triplicitipula) colei Alexander   [^Top]

This species was commonly collected in the ecotone between grassy fields and edges of woods, the same habitat as T. bicornis.  Adults are obscure yellow in color and about 19-27 mm in size.  Larvae can be found in moist soil near the surface at the edge of woods or in nearby grassy areas.  This species was previously reported from Michigan, westward to Iowa, and Missouri.  Recently it has been reported from Mississippi (Amite County, 12 April 2007 Gayle and Jeanell Strickland).  Other related species found in our areas are T. flavoumbrosa and T. perlongipes.  The structural differences in submedian teeth of the eighth sternum are used to separate these three related species apart.

 
Tipula colei group mating pair by Steve Scott Tipula colei Tipula colei group female by Giff Beaton 
Tipula colei male genitalia dorsal view by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Tipula colei male genitalia lateral view by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland

Tipula colei group female by David Larson Tipula colei group mating pair by Thomas of Baltimore Tipula colei group male by David Larson

Tipula perlongipes Tipula perlongipes


Tipula (Vestiplex) longiventris Loew   [^Top]

This species is most readily told by the structure of male genitalia and the unusually length of the abdomen in females (30-38 mm).  The female of this species is among one of the longest crane flies in our area.  Males are shorter in body size about 16-19 mm in length.  The adults have wings variegated with brown, gray and white.  An easily confused, but unrelated large species Tipula abdominalis has velvety black stripes on the dorsal and lateral sides of its thorax.  Such character is absent in Tipula longiventris.  The species of this group (Vestiplex) are chiefly Northern and Arctic in distribution; in North America they are characteristic of mountainous or northern regions.  Locally adults were found in woodlands and larvae were found in damp soil beneath layer of leaf mold.

   
Tipula longiventris Tipula longiventris
Tipula longiventris by Patrick Coin Tipula longiventris Philip Penketh

Tipula (Yamatotipula) aprilina Alexander   [^Top]

The adult crane flies of the subgenus Yamatotipula can be separated from most of the other subgenera of Tipula by having the tergite and sternite of 9th abdominal segment fused into a continuous ring in males.  The median region of this tergite produced posterior into a simple or bifid depressed lobe with small-blackened spines.  Most of the species also have their wings with dark longitudinal stripes.  Tipula aprilina belongs to the group that has unmarked wings except for the stigma area.  They are about 9-13 mm in size and have uniformly blackened antennae and gray body color.  The larvae of this species live in saturated earth at the margins of streams or ponds.

 
Tipula aprilina by Tony DiTerlizzi Tipula aprilina by Tony DiTerlizzi Tipula aprilina
 
Tipula aprilina Tipula aprilina by Tony DiTerlizzi

Tipula (Yamatotipula) caloptera Loew   [^Top]

Adult flies of this species reach 18 – 25 mm in body length. They are the largest species of Yamatotipula group that have their wings striped longitudinally with brown and white.  Their flagellar segments of antennae are yellow with darkened bases, and are shorter than their thorax.  The abdominal segments have conspicuous brown sublateral stripes on tergites.  Male hypopygium has very broad median lobe on the ninth tergite.

   
Tipula caloptera Tipula caloptera by Dennis Paulson  
Tipula caloptera female by Thomas of Baltimore Tipula caloptera

Tipula (Yamatotipula) furca Loew   [^Top]

The adult crane flies of this species are medium to large in size (13-18 mm).  Their wings are longitudinally striped with brown and whitish patterns and with a dark seam on veins Cu and m-cu.  There are six species in this group in our area and they often are found in grassy areas along streams.  Larvae are aquatic and live in debris or saturated earth along streams.

 
Tipula furca Tipula (Yamatotipula) species by Giff Beaton Tipula furca female by Thomas of Baltimore
   
Tipula furca wing by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland     Tipula furca head by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland
Tipula furca male genitalia dorsal and posterior views by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland Tipula furca male genitalia posterior-lateral view by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland

Other striped wing species similar to Tipula (Yamatotipula) furca [^Top]

     
Tipula concava Tipula eluta Tipula strepens

Tipula (Yamatotipula) sayi Alexander   [^Top]

Adult flies of this species have clear wings except a dark brown costal border.  They are about 12-15 mm in body length, and a late summer to fall species.  Adult often are found in grassy area along woodland edges.

   
Tipula sayi Tipula sayi by Gary Kessler Tipula sayi
Tipula sayi by Tom Murray

Tipula (Yamatotipula) tephrocephala Loew   [^Top]

Adults of this species and some other related species have their wings unmarked except for the stigmal darkening and a dark yellow costal border.  They are larger in size (14-18 mm) compared to Tipula aprilina and Tipula sayi.  Their bodies are yellowish instead of gray in color, and usually with reddish brown markings bordered by dark brown on the abdomen dorsal segments.  The larval stages are spent in saturated earth around water edges.  The other two very similar species are Tipula cayuga and Tipula jacobus

 
Tipula tephrocephala  male Tipula tephrocephala  Tom Bentley Tipula tephrocephala  female
Tipula tephrocephala  female by Tom Bentley
Tipula cayuga Tipula jacobus

Tipula (Yamatotipula) tricolor Fabricius   [^Top]

Adult flies of this species have their wings with central portion of disk conspicuously brightened, and have strongly bicolor antennae.  They are about 18-22 mm in body length.  This species are fairly common in grass-sedge marshes, open swamp woods, and grassy margins of sluggish streams in floodplain woods.  Larvae found in wet soil along streams.

 
Tipula tricolor Tipula tricolor Photo by Lew Scharpf

Tipula tricolor male genitalia dorsal view by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland

Tipula tricolor male by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland

Tipula tricolor male genitalia lateral view by Gayle and Jeanell Strickland
Tipula tricolor Photo by Tom Murray Tipula tricolor Tipula tricolor By Thomas of Baltimore


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Last Updated: 08/20/2008
  Page ©2005 James W. Fetzner Jr.
  Photos by Chen Young, unless otherwise stated.
  All Rights Reserved