Mummy-Long-Legs?

By Ruth D’Alessandro, The Wildlife Gardener The Wildlife Gardener found this crane fly in the kitchen today. The brilliant red colour caught my attention:

Crane fly

Just what are those things stuck to its back? Is it carrying a clutch of its own eggs? Or, more sinisterly, has something parasitic laid its eggs on the living crane fly?

Crane fly

Is it really a Mummy-Long-Legs or will it soon just be mummified? Update: Thanks to the power of Naturenet, one of our readers has suggested that the crane fly has mites, which leads me to this website as corroboration. Also to a rhyme which has bizarrely popped into my head from an ancient SMP Maths book from the 1970s:

Big fleas have little fleas Upon their backs to bite ’em And little fleas have littler fleas And so on, ad infinitum

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6 thoughts on “Mummy-Long-Legs?

  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    that looks gross but to be honest i like these huge flies they dont bite people and if u find a few in your room just catch put em in a jar with air holes and release them outside the only harm they’ll do is damage 1s garden but where i live i have no garden so i dont worry about them

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    • 25th July, 2012 at 2:37 am
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      I doubt those are eggs. This mommy is a daddy. The males body ends blunt like pictured here. The females body ends pointed like a stringing insect. It’s not a stinger, it’s just use for laying eggs in the ground.

      Reply
  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    oh my gosh that is disgusting! i sooo hate crane flies. i hate when they get into my house, fly around my room, and land on me! i suppose they fly in through the open front door, which annoys me. if only my house had air conditioning.

    Reply
  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    Yes – good idea, Richard. Unfortunately the crane fly has now disappeared so I don’t have the dubious pleasure of tweaking one of the red things off to see if it has legs!

    Reply
  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    It looks as though it’s covered in mites – they look very similar to the mites that infest Lepidoptera, sometimes in huge ‘blobs’ as here – if they drop off, you’ll just about be able to see the tiny legs, but only with a hand lens!

    Reply

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