#Biodiversity150 number 79 of 150 Phantom Crane Fly

79/150: Flying, with its legs! – The Phantom Crane fly

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Diptera: Ptychopteridae: Bittacomorpha clavipes (Fabricus, 1781)

No, that’s not a giant black mosquito. The Ptychopteridae family, (phantom crane flies), are a small family of Nemotocera (“longhorned flies”) related to mosquitos, true crane flies and blackflies. A common North American species, Bittacomorpha clavipes, is found east of the Rocky Mountains. Larvae are maggot-like, live in aquatic substrate, and have a large long respiratory syphon which they use to breathe. Adults are recognized by their slender light bodies and distinct striped long black and white legs. They are typically found resting on vegetation in forested areas close to lakes, ponds and streams. Like other flies, Ptychopteridae have one pair of wings, however it uses them very little for flight! Instead, bulges found on the first segment of each of its feet, filled with tracheae (tubes) are used to catch the breeze, allowing them to float, ghost-like through the air from perch to perch. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Adult Phantom Crane Fly, Ptychopteridae family. Photo Credit: John Flannery goo.gl/2uK5AW
Larval maggot Phantom Crane Fly. Photo Credit: Gillian Martin, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  BBTEC090-09

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Phantom Crane Fly

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAF9057

Title Image: Specimen 09BBTEC-085 – Kouchibouguac National Park, New Brunswick – 17-Aug-2009
Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

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