One of a large family of thin-bodied, long-legged, long-winged and generally anorexic
-looking insects of the genus tipulidae
. Very common in England
(can't vouch for the rest of the world
, although I don't remember ever seeing one whilst travelling).
Crane flies are often known as 'daddy-long-legs
', and are, as far as I can make out, the only insect
species to earn this name (there are several varieties of spiders
and similar creatures
apparently also known by the name
, although not where I come from).
In the contest
for 'most bloody irritating insect
' the crane fly is a strong contender
. They are harmless
but, due presumably to their quite strong - unless you look properly and count legs - resemblance
to large flying spiders, terrify
many people, and are second only to the genus Things That Sting
in their capacity to throw an entire room into panic by appearing. They are both as stupidly blind to windows
and as impossible to catch as any small
flying thing and, once captured, tend to shed
legs at an alarming
rate, meaning that by the end of summer there are a great many two-legged ones staggering around lopsidedly.
Despite not making any noise themselves, these beasties are quite capable of making plenty by artificial
means. Their technique? They fly around whichever room they are currently occupying banging legs, wings and heads against walls, furniture
(and deity-of-choice help you if you have one of those globular
lampshades that trap
things) and make an amazingly loud rattle
. This, combined with their love of molesting the faces of innocent
humans, makes it almost impossible to sleep
in a room with one in.
Apart from that, they're fine