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Phantom Crane Fly - Bittacomorphella

Phantom Crane Fly - Bittacomorphella
Taft Creek tributary, Olympic National Park/Temperate Rain Forest County, Washington, USA
June 16, 2006
Size: 3cm
there appear to be two species of Phantom Crane Flies in this riparian area. This photo represents one of the two. I will keep shooting away for the next couple of weeks to try and capture better images and also perhaps capture on disk the other species.

You can tell by the photo that this is Bitacomorphella? Ocelli aren't visible, wing venation isn't either, ect. ect.. I have to have the specimen under the scope before I could hope to identify this one to genus let alone species.
Also, is that 3 cm front to rear or is that wingspan? The biggest Bitacomorphella I have (Seattle) is 1 cm front to rear.
I've never seen these anywhere else except right around my house. They are striking because at night the white bands almost glow. You can just see these little light marks floating around in seemingly empty space.

You are correct
that many of the key characters were not visible in this image to make a specific determination. That is one of the drawbacks of determining insect species solely based on image. Often I have to identify what they are based on my educated guess. As for this image although I could not see the details as you have listed but luckily there are only two genera of these flies in the west coast, Bittacomorphella and Bittacomorpha The link here mentioned these two genera. This image definitely did not show the enlarged basitarsi, a deciding character for Bittacomorphella . Noticed I only put the generic name on this image, not the species name. The two species of Bittacomorphella that has been reported in Washington State are B. fenderiana and B. pacifica . As for the measurement of the flies, it also presents a problem since most of the contributor did not give the detail of the measurement as if it were from wing to wing, tip of antenna to end of abdomen, or tip of front leg to end of hind leg. It would be nice that we all use a standard measurement, or at least mention how the measurement was taken. They sure are graceful flies to watch and they certainly live up to their name as Phantom crane flies. Thank you for bringing up your concerns. - Chen

Ptychopteridae Right?
Ptychopteridae Right?

Yes, it is in the family of
Ptychopteridae , and this one is a Pigmy Phantom Crane Fly in the genus Bittacomorphella . It could be Bittacomorphella pacifica. The other species you are going to take image of is the Phantom Crane Fly, Bittacomorpha occidentalis. - Chen

Phantom Crane Fly Comment
Many thanks for the help in ID"ing" this insect. I get many hundreds of visitors to my area each day. The dozens of kids and their parents I can convince to hang with the Ranger are delighted by the flight characteristics and the ability to "vanish" as part of the repertoire of these creatures.

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