The Hangingfly (Bittacus sp.) is an insect in the Bittacidae family of hangingflies.
The Hangingfly has a long, slender brown or yellowish-grey body with a thin waist. 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.
It has six long thin legs. The two front legs are modified for grasping vegetation and the other four legs have tarsal claws for catching prey. It has two very long antennae. Its large wings are translucent with brown veins. Its mouthparts are modified for chewing. 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 4 centimetres (1.5 centimetres) long. Its wingspan is 1-6 centimetres (up to 2 inches) long.
It is found in many regions in grasslands and near freshwater ponds. It can be seen from April to October in the Northern Hemisphere.
The adult Hangingfly does not usually eat at all. It does not have mouthparts to enable it to kill and eat food. It usually sips nectar.
The female lays eggs in moist soil, and they hatch into larvae. The elongated larvae (grubs) feed on vegetation. The larvae become adult flies.
The Hangingfly has a lifespan of 10-15 days.
Location of photograph: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM