Limoniid Crane Fly

Crane Fly
Crane Fly in Spring

We’re used to the ‘Daddy Long legs’ but there are many other crane flies and near relatives in the UK. Just the 300 or so. Which makes identifying this character spotted lurking around the clearing a touch difficult from a photo alone.

You need to look at wing vein patterns to be sure but crane flies can usually be distinguished by the way the wings are held at rest. Limoniids usually hold the wings along the back of the body whereas the tipulid true crane flies usually hold them out at right angles. So….

If I have to guess, and comparing it with this image, I’d say from the black wing spots, bands on the legs and red thorax it is limonia phragmitidis.

The most useful sources of information I found were Wikipedia, and the Leicestershire and Rutland ‘nature spot‘ galleries which have great pictures of insects. And Flickr of course, though it has so many tagged crane fly pictures it’s a bit overwhelming.

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