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UK Nature  > Flies  > Tipula paludosa

Scientific Name:   Tipula paludosa
Common Name:   Crane Fly

Tipula paludosa, more commonly known as a Crane Fly or Daddy Long Legs (in the UK), is about 25mm long and have very fragile legs, which can easily break off during handling (the male shown above has one left leg missing).

The male has a swollen tip to his abdomen, but the female has a pointed tip which she uses to push her eggs into the soil. The larvae are the infamous root eating "leatherjackets", much disliked by gardeners everywhere. They also come to the surface at night and chew the base of stems. Large numbers may live under the lawn.

Adult flies rarely feed. They are on the wing for most of the year, but most common in autumn when they swarm over our lawns and come to lighted windows at night. They rest with their wings outstretched and are commonly seen on house and garden walls. Found throughout the UK in parks, gardens and grasslands of all kinds.
T. oleracea is similar, but most common in Spring.
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