Crane fly

These are pretty amazing insects. Have you ever seen what looks like a giant mosquito flying around in a bumbling pattern, sometimes near the doorway in the evening, and sometimes flying into the house?

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Some people think these insects sting or bite, but the point at the bottom of the abdomen is actually an “ovipositor”, which is for laying eggs. My photos show the adult stage of the crane fly, at which they only live for a few days and do not usually feed. They do their feeding in the larval stage, usually at soil surface level.

Then I noticed the projections just below the wing:

“Located behind each wing is a modified wing structure known as a haltere (plural: halteres). The haltere resembles a golf club and is visible to the naked eye at close examination. Halteres vibrate at high speeds during flight. They function as flight stabilizers, similar to gyroscopes on airplanes that prevent excessive roll, pitch or yaw. Halteres occur on many other species of Diptera including houseflies.”  –

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