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Common crane fly - Tipula oleracea - front view
Common crane fly - Tipula oleracea - front view


Common crane fly
The Common crane fly (Tipula oleracea) is a species of the genus Tipula, in the order two-winged flies (Diptera), the suborder thread-horns (Nematocera), the family crane flies (Tipulidae), and the subfamily Tipulinae. This species is widespread in Europe.
Common crane fly - Tipula oleracea - on blossom
Common crane fly - Tipula oleracea - on blossom
Adult Tipula oleracea reach body lengths of up to 26 mm. The body is grey and brown in colour. The pronotum is dark and the wings are more or less transparent with a brick red front edge. The abdomen of the males is thicker at the end and ochre to yellow-grey in colour. The females have an ovipositor at the end of their abdomens. The long legs of Tipula oleracea are stilt like in shape. Tipula oleracea cannot sting.
The larvae are brown and are 3 - 4 mm in length in the beginning. They reach lengths of up to several centimetres later. Tipula oleracea have a life expectancy of 8 months and usually produce 2 new generations a year. The first generation is active from April to June, the second from August to October. The adults feed on nectar or water.
The females lay the first generation of eggs in spring in loose, moist soil or in damp meadows, in gardens or in cultivated land. The eggs are oval and about 1 mm in size and can number up to 1, 200. The larvae hatch after 15 days and feed on fallen leaves or on the roots of young plants. They can cause considerable damage in horticulture and agriculture. 300 to 400 larvae per square metre of usable area is not uncommon. The larvae pupate in the soil about 4 months after hatching. During this time, they shed their skin 4 times. The pupae overwinter in the soil.


Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Common crane fly - Tipula oleracea - front view
2. Common crane fly - Tipula oleracea - on blossom
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