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Crane fly invasion

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Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 275
Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:49 pm    Post subject: Crane fly invasion Reply with quote

I have lived in Tucson almost 24 years, and have never seen nearly as many crane flies as we have had in recent days. There was even an article in the paper about it.


While they have common names including "mosquito hawk" and "mosquito eater", it turns out they don't really eat while adult, but the larvae do eat mosquito larvae.

There are many species, of the Family Tipulidae.

Last year, I found a dead one, making a photogram of the entire wing,

as well as looking at it with epi-fluorescence.

It may be an illusion, but it sure seems like the one from last year had much more detailed veins in the wings than shown here...

So, anyway, here are some candid shots from my front porch - they are attracted to lights, even the yellow "bug lights". All shots are single exposure, hand-held, with on-camera flash.

First is a regular tele-macro shot with Nikon D3300 with Nikkor 55-200 mm lens. As you can see, they were busy mating. Some contrast enhancement and sharpening was done, as well as crop/size.

Next is a shot with the Helios 44 f/2 58 mm prime lens in combination with the Nikkor, as described here:


And finally, another shot with the combo lens of the top of the thorax, from behind. This is a 100% crop with unsharp masking and auto-contrast.

Anyway, there sure have been a lot of these guys around! Seems like the peak is over, and there aren't as many today as a couple of days ago.

Thanks for looking,
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Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1164
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Mike, we have a lot at my place in Phoenix too. I am a Native Arizonan, 70 years now, and have never seen so many. It must be all the rain we've had.

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