About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, September 2, 2011

What are those giant mosquito looking bugs?

Was out golfing this last week and the guy we were golfing with was wearing a ball cap. At the 17 hole, I noticed he has a couple mosquitoes on his cap. I looked and there was one about the size of an inch. This was the largest one I have every seen. I would have hate to have bitten by that one. Any ideas of what it was. I know they say it was an Asian tiger but they are still the same size as the normal ones.

You might have seen a Crane Fly Gnophomyia Tristissima which is very common in July and August. These “giant mosquitoes” aren’t mosquitoes at all and don’t bite. They typically don’t feed as adult flies and only live a few days to mate and lay eggs. The larvae develop in rotting wood. More information can be found at: http://www.cirrusimage.com/flies_crane_Gnophomyia.htm

There are over 1500 species of crane fly (Family Tipulidae) in North America ranging in size from 0.079–2.4 inches. Four are considered pests.

The European Crane Fly larvae have recently been causing a problem at golf courses. The larvae, known as leather-jackets, feed on underground plant parts during the day and will emerge to feed on stems and grass blades on damp warm nights. This feeding can cause patches of grass to die.

Related Article:
The most common mosquitoes in Michigan: http://bit.ly/pu8PTc

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