Daddy long legs everywhere

Over the past couple of weeks there have been large numbers of daddy long legs about. They have been in my house near Exeter and up on the high moor on Dartmoor.

Tipula paludosa 1‘Daddy long legs’ are also known as craneflies  – there are over 90 different species. This individual has a blunt abdomen – meaning it is a male

Tipula paludosa 3This one has a pointed abdomen – its a female. Craneflies on Dartmoor provide an important food source for various birds such a dunlin and meadow pipits

Tipula paludosa 2The species that is so numerous at present is Tipula paludosa. Looks a bit like something out of Star Wars!

Here is a close up – flies only have a pair of wings (bees have two pairs) in this picture you can see a stalk with a blob on the end below the pair of wings. This is known as the haltere – it is used rather like a gyroscope to help flies fly – it is also the ‘second’ pair of wings – all flies have halteres instead of the second pair of wings.

 

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