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Family Ptychopteridae - Phantom and Fold-winged Crane Flies

Phantom Crane Fly - Ptychoptera quadrifasciata Unknown Fly (with mites) - Ptychoptera metallica - female Phantom Crane Fly - Bittacomorpha clavipes Cranefly (wasp mimic) - Ptychoptera quadrifasciata - male Bittacomorpha clavipes? - Bittacomorpha clavipes Phantoms - Bittacomorpha clavipes - male - female Bittacomorpha occidentalis - Bittacomorpha clavipes Bittacomorpha clavipes? - Bittacomorpha clavipes
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Nematocera" (Non-Brachycera))
Family Ptychopteridae (Phantom and Fold-winged Crane Flies)
Explanation of Names
Ptychopteridae Osten Sacken 1862
16 spp. in 3 genera in our area(1), ~160 spp. in 27 genera total(2), but only three are extant(3)
See (3) for an illustrated key to species in our area (starts pg. 175).

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.
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(4)
Near ponds, wetlands
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.Phylogeny and diversity of the phantom crane flies (Diptera: Ptychopteridae)
Andrew Fasbender. 2014. PhD Thesis.
4.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.