The Turkish Crane Fly (Prionocera turcica) is a large insect in the Tipulidae family of crane flies.
The Turkish Crane Fly looks like a giant mosquito. It has six very long, thin, fragile legs. The legs easily drop off and re-grow. It has a large pair of translucent wings. Its segmented abdomen is long and grey. The male has a swollen tip on the end of his abdomen and the female has an ovipositor at the end of her abdomen, which is a tube to lay eggs.
The Turkish Crane Fly has black segmented antennae. Its nose, called a snout or a rostrum, has a beak-like tip, and the apical segment is long and protruded. Its compound eyes are large and dark.
It grows to about 3 centimetres (one inch) in length, with a wingspan of 1-6 centimetres (up to 2 inches).
It is found in grasslands in Europe and Asia. It is also often found near freshwater ponds. It can be seen from April to October.
The adult Crane Fly does not usually eat at all. It does not have mouthparts to enable it to kill and eat food. It sometimes sips nectar.
The female lays eggs in moist soil, and they hatch into larvae. The elongated larvae (grubs) feed on plant roots and algae. The larvae are called leatherjackets. Many animals eat crane fly larvae, such as spiders, fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals. The larvae grow and become adult crane flies.
The adult Turkish Crane Fly has a lifespan of 10-15 days.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM