Crane flies are two-winged flies that look a bit like large mosquitoes. It is easy to confuse the two but they have differences in body, habitat, food, and behavior.
Description of Crane Flies
European crane flies are the most common crane fly. These tan-colored insects, with long slender legs and delicate wings, are an inch in size. Their wing span is two inches. Crane flies differ from mosquitoes by having a V-shaped suture on their thorax and a lack of ocelli (simple eyes). Crane lies are rather clumsy and have a fatal attraction to house lights.
Crane flies inhabit areas with rotting organic matter. They live in moist areas such as woodlands, flood plains, and streams. The adults do not feed. However, crane fly larvae eat at grass roots and can become landscaping pests.
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Male Mosquito Description
Mosquitoes are smaller than crane flies and have fuzzy antenna. They weigh 2.5 milligrams and fly at 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.
Male mosquitoes, like the females, live in stagnant ponds and cesspools. Male mosquitoes, unlike females, do not have piercing mouth parts and can not bite. Males are nectar eaters.
Crane flies do not pose a medical danger. Male mosquitoes do not bite but do breed mosquito larvae. The resulting female mosquitoes bite and carry diseases, such as West Nile Virus and encephalitis.