Crane Fly, a long-legged fly that looks like a large mosquito. There are many species throughout the world, including about 1,500 in North America. In Britain, crane flies are called daddy longlegs. The adult crane fly is about one inch (2.5 cm) long. It lives in moist areas and deposits its eggs in damp ground. The larvae, called leather jackets, feed on roots and decaying plant matter. They do considerable damage to grasslands and grainfields by destroying roots and turf. The range crane fly destroys range grass in the southwestern United States. The European crane fly damages lawns and pastures in Britain, the Pacific Northwest, and British Columbia.
Crane flies belong to the family Tipulidae of the order Diptera. The range crane fly is Tipula simplex; the European, T. paludosa.