Crane Fly


a Crane Fly, possibly f. Tipulidae, observed at Kakamega Forest, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Kakamega Forest, Kenya, December 2014. Length is about 12 mm, not including the legs.

When I first observed this insect, I did not recognize it as such; indeed it dropped off its original perch as if it were a non-living fragment of some leaf. A dead museum specimen would not reveal the peculiar perching behavior that this fly employs. The four femurs of the first two pair of legs are aligned together and inline with the head and thorax. The result is eyes that are at the midpoint of the body and an appearance that is quite apart from other insect life. The purpose for this ruse is to avoid detection by sharp-eyed insectivorous birds.

Tipulidae -- Crane Fly Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 3 March 2014