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What Do Crane Flies Eat? 7 Foods They Eat

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Crane flies are large, powerful insects in most parts of the world. They are distinguished by their long necks and legs and their large wingspans. Crane flies typically feed on nectar and pollen, but some species are known to be predatory. So, what do crane flies eat? I will discuss more on that later.

Crane flies are generally harmless to humans, although their large size and strange appearance can be unsettling. In some parts of the world, crane flies are considered lucky symbols, and their larvae are sometimes used as bait for fishing.

Despite their harmless nature, crane flies can become nuisances when they invade homes for food or shelter. It has been said that crane flies are attracted to light, but this is not the case. Rather, they are attracted to warmth and are often drawn indoors by open doors or windows.

What Do Crane Flies Eat?

Many people are surprised to learn that crane flies do not eat at all as adults. The adult stage of the crane fly is short-lived, lasting only a few days. The sole purpose of the adult crane fly is to mate. Once mating is complete, the crane fly will die. The larvae of the crane fly, however, are voracious eaters.

They consume almost anything they can get their mandibles on, including other insect larvae, small invertebrates, and decaying plant matter. The larvae are often found in damp places such as tree holes, damp soil, or among piles of leaves. If you have ever found what looks like a giant mosquito in your home, it is likely a crane fly larva that has wandered indoors in search of food. Here are some foods that crane fly larvae enjoy:


The larvae of crane flies are predators and will often feast on other insect larvae. This includes species such as caterpillars, ants, and beetles.

what do crane flies eat
Crane flies love eating fungi.

2.Small invertebrates: 

Crane fly larvae will also consume small worms, snails, and slugs.

3.Decaying plant matter: 

The larvae are often found in damp places such as tree holes, damp soil, or among piles of leaves. As such, they have access to a lot of decaying plant matter. This includes dead leaves, bark, and fruit.


In addition to decaying plant matter, crane fly larvae eat live vegetation. This includes grasses, leaves, and stems.


Young plants are also on the menu for crane fly larvae. They love to munch on seedlings and can do a lot of damage to a garden if there is a large infestation.


The larvae of some crane fly species are known to consume algae. This is especially common in areas with stagnant water, such as ponds and lakes.


Some crane fly larvae are also known to eat fungi. This includes both mold and mildew.

While the adults of most crane fly species do not eat, there are a few exceptions. Predatory crane fly species, for example, will hunt and eat small insects. Blood-sucking crane flies may also feed on the blood of larger animals, including mammals and reptiles. However, these species are not common, and most crane flies do not pose a threat to humans.

Are Crane Flies Harmful To Humans? 

This is a question that many people ask, particularly during the summer months when these large, flying insects are most active. Although crane flies may look dangerous, they are quite harmless to humans. They are not even capable of biting or stinging.

So if you face-to-fly with one of these creatures, there is no need to worry. However, that doesn’t mean that crane flies are entirely harmless. These insects can cause a great deal of damage to lawns and gardens. Their larval stage, which occurs underground, is particularly destructive as they feed on the roots of grasses and other plants.

As a result, infested areas can quickly become brown and Patchy. In severe cases, the damage caused by crane fly larvae can be so extensive that it kills the grass entirely. For this reason, it is important to control the population of crane flies in your yard or garden. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a big problem on your hands.

Do Crane Flies Eat Mosquitoes? 

This is a question that many people ask, given the similarity in appearance between the two insects. However, crane flies are quite different from mosquitoes in terms of their diet and ecological role. 

Crane flies are members of the insect family Tipulidae, which contains over 15,000 species of large, long-legged flies. They are often mistaken for mosquitoes due to their similar size and shape. However, crane flies do not have the same piercing mouthparts that mosquitoes use to feed on blood. Instead, they primarily eat nectar and other sweets. Some crane fly species also feed on plant material or small insects. 

Mosquitoes, on the other hand, are members of the insect family Culicidae. There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes, which are distributed all over the world. Unlike crane flies, mosquitoes feast on blood, using their sharp mouthparts to puncture the skin and withdraw blood from their victim. However, not all mosquito species rely on blood for food. Some species of mosquito primarily eat nectar or fruit. 

Given their different diets, it is unlikely that crane flies and mosquitoes would compete for food resources. Crane flies may help to control the mosquito population by eating mosquito larvae. So, if you are concerned about mosquitoes in your area, you may want to encourage crane fly populations by ensuring that their habitat is not disturbed. 

what do crane flies eat
A crane fly looking for small insects.

How Do Crane Flies Help Our Ecosystem?

Although they may look frightening, with their long legs and bulbous bodies, crane flies are harmless creatures that play an important role in our ecosystem. These flies are often mistaken for giant mosquitoes but do not bite or sting. They are beneficial pollinators that help to fertilize plants.

Crane flies are found all over the world, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some species can grow to be over six inches long! The larvae of crane flies are known as leatherjackets, and they are a major food source for many animals, including birds, hedgehogs, and foxes.

Leatherjackets also benefit the environment, as they help to aerate the soil and break down organic matter. As a result, crane flies play an important role in the food chain and the health of our ecosystem.

Wrapping Up

Crane flies may not be the most attractive creatures, but they are fascinating and beneficial insects. These large, long-legged flies play an important role in our ecosystem, acting as pollinators and helping to control the population of harmful mosquitoes. So next time you see a crane fly, take a moment to appreciate these amazing creatures!

You can also read:

What Do Wild Ferrets Eat? 8 Animals They Hunt

What Do Pet Ferrets Eat? 7 Favorite Foods

What Do Wasps Eat In Winter? 4 Foods That Helps

What Do Wasps Eat In Summer? 7 Favorite Foods

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