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Family Ptychopteridae - Phantom Crane Flies

Phantom Crane Fly (missing a leg) - Bittacomorpha clavipes Phantom Crane Fly - Bittacomorpha clavipes BG1773 C8149 - Bittacomorpha clavipes - male Phantom Crane Fly - Bittacomorpha clavipes From Lake Junaluska - Ptychoptera quadrifasciata - female Phantom Crane - Bittacomorpha clavipes Bittacomorpha clavipes  Pygmy Phantom Crane Fly? - Bittacomorphella jonesi
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Nematocera" (Non-Brachycera))
Family Ptychopteridae (Phantom Crane Flies)
Explanation of Names
Ptychopteridae Osten Sacken 1862
Numbers
16 spp. in 3 genera in our area(1), ~160 spp. in 27 genera total(2)
Identification
Medium-sized flies with long legs, slow flight, esp. in Bittacomorpha, the genus most easily observed due to its slow flights.
Bittacomorpha have enlarged basitarsi.
Bittacomorphella are similar but smaller and without enlarged basitarsi.
Ptychoptera are distinct, with patterned wings and shorter legs than the other two genera.
Range
in NA, most spp. are western; globally, Ptychoptera are represented in all zoogeographic regions except Australasia and the Neotropics, Bittacomorphella is holarctic (NA + e. Asia), and Bittacomorpha is precinctive to NA(3)
Habitat
Near ponds, wetlands
Season
Summer
Life Cycle
Larvae are detritivores in mud of wetlands. Bittacomorpha clavipes, a common species of eastern North America, is seen flying slowly at eye-level, often in open areas. This sure looks like some sort of sexual display.
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Order Diptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang Z.-Q. (ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification...
Pape T., Blagoderov V., Mostovski M.B. 2011. Zootaxa 3148: 222–229.
3.Manual of Nearctic Diptera Volume 1
Varies for each chapter; edited by J.F. McAlpine, B.V. Petersen, G.E. Shewell, H.J. Teskey, J.R. Vockeroth, D.M. Wood. 1981. Research Branch Agriculture Canada.