Weird insect

Asked June 12, 2018, 5:08 PM EDT

I found an insect on my truck that I've never seen before. Can you identify it?

Leelanau County Michigan

4 Responses

Yes, that is a phantom crane fly(Order: Diptera, Family: Ptychopteridae)! Very cool, one of my favorite insects. I live in Leelanau County and saw one just the other day as well. They do not feed on plants. The larvae live on decaying organic matter in the water. No need to worry about having some of these hanging around!

I looked at some pictures of the phantom crane fly and they all had long skinny legs. Why are the legs of this fly so different? I also live in Leelanau county. Thanks for your reply - the bodies seem to be the same - just the legs are different.

Yes, not all of them have the enlarged metatarsus on the leg that the specimen you photographed has. Here is a link to a University of Wisconsin article if you'd like to read more about these fascinating insects: http://uwm.edu/field-station/phantom-crane-fly/ .

Very interesting, thank you very much.