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Picture Winged Crane Fly Epiphragma ocellaris

Reaching a length of 16 to 18 mm the Picture Winged Crane Fly is a rather big Limoniid Crane Fly. It is often mistaken for a Tipula species. Luckily though identification is easy. It has lost of complicated, beautiful black markings in the wings. There is simply no species like it in our parts of Europe. The adults flies are seen in May and June only. They like damp conditions, such as the edges of woods, marshes etc. The larvae live in rotting wood, which is remarkable. Most members of this family of Crane Flies live in water. The larva of the Picture Winged Crane Fly produces through its spiracles a fatty substance which is distributed all over the body to avoid dehydration. This is a common species all over Britain and Ireland in moist areas.