Belongs to: flies

Crane fly Nephrotoma appendiculata

Also known as: daddy long legs


Best time to see: May to Aug

Key facts

Slender long-legged fly sometimes known as daddy long legs (although this name is also applied to a long-legged spider)

This is one of the commoner of the 300 or so British species, found in well-vegetated areas including gardens

Their larvae, known as leatherjackets, are regarded as pests because they damage plants

Recognition

Yellow and black abdomen; clear wings folded flat along the abdomen when at rest

As with all crane flies, its spindly legs detach very easily

Up to 20mm long

Lifecycle

Adult females rarely feed, dropping eggs on to the soil after mating

The dull brown larvae live in the soil eating roots, emerging at night to chew plant stems as well

Mainly nocturnal, often attracted into houses by lights

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton