Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Black-tipped Hangingfly

Hangingflies are easily mistaken for the crane flies, but they have two pairs of wings, not one pair like crane flies. Actually many species such as the black-tipped hanging fly (Hylobittacus apicalis) are hunting crane flies in particular.  

Hanging flies are often found in open woodlands and forest edges, flying slowly and hanging from twigs, grasses, or leaf edges by their front feet, or by the front and middle pairs of feet. The hind legs are used to capture insect prey, either while hanging or while flying upward along plant stems.

Today’s species has the habit of resting with its wings outstretched to the sides, while all other hangingfly species hold their wings folded down rooflike over their abdomen.

Hangingflies are not flies. They belong to the same group as the scorpionflies, the insect order Mecoptera which is Greek for long wings.

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