Why Crane Flies Don’t Bite

Crane flies on the window sills. Lots of them. A mini-infestation of crane flies.

The reason they don’t bite is that they have no mouths. But today when I photographed one on our window sill, I wondered what that thing was at the end of its face.

A handful got into the house last night, attracted by the light. They are easy to catch in two hands, cupping them and then lofting them into the air from the open door.

They are about 3 inches (8cm) across – more if they stretched their legs out flat.

I googled and crane flies love wet summers with lots of rotting vegetation. I don’t think this year has been particularly wet, but one thing may have contributed to their success. They have been undisturbed because the Council gardeners have not been tidying up the parks. If that is one reason for the increased numbers, then crane flies can give thanks to COVID.

So I found this second photo on Wikipedia Commons – and look at that thing on the end of its face! And look where its eyes are!