It Is Time Once Again To Remind Angelenos That The Giant Crane Fly Is Not A Mutant Vein-Draining Mosquito From Hell

You know it’s springtime in Los Angeles when giant flying insects like the one pictured above can be found all over town either hanging out on walls and plants or wobbling through the air in a topsy-turvy flight pattern that calls to mind Snoopy’s avian sidekick Woodstock.

Subsequently it is also that time of year when these rather hapless creatures make the mistake of getting inside your homes to flit along walls and ceilings forcing horrified occupants to exclaim “That’s the biggest fucking mosquito I’ve ever seen!” while simultaneously reaching for a can of Raid or a magazine to roll up.

Truth is, what ends up sprayed or splatted is not the corpse of some humungus blood-sucker, but rather the nectar-drinking giant crane fly, which can neither bite nor sting. And at this last stage of its life pretty much all it wants to do before it dies is make more giant crane flies.

Because I’m all-creatures-great-and-small crazy like that, I’ll actually go to the trouble of catching the wayward critters up and getting them back outdoors to continue their quest for a mate, but I can’t say that I blame anyone who’s more willing to whack them dead than make that catch and release effort. But should you chance upon one outside minding its own business, consider leaving it alone. The giant crane fly might look menacing but it’s entirely harmless.

8 Replies to “It Is Time Once Again To Remind Angelenos That The Giant Crane Fly Is Not A Mutant Vein-Draining Mosquito From Hell”

  1. Thanks again for your compassion for all living things, Will. I’m reminded of a quote from Philip K. Dick’s “A Scanner Darkly”, regarding such an insect: “If I’d known it was harmless, I’d have killed it myself.”

  2. Thanks, Man.

    I always forget what they’re called. Last year I caught myself telling someone, “Leave it alone. It’s not a mosquito, it’s this…other…thing, that’s not a mosquito.”

    The person was less than comforted, and that poor, amorous giant crane done got swatted.

    So, if anyone asks, “What’s a giant crane?” I can say, “It’s this…thing…that’s not a mosquito…”

  3. It’s never a surprise that people feel compelled to express a kneejerk revulsion, one that stunts any opportunity for discovery or respect. Coincidentally, the above commenter’s opinion echoes my feelings for people like that.

  4. Thanks for the great psa…I figured they weren’t mosquito’s but was too lazy to look it up. Nice to know they are harmless to us. I’ll shoo from now on as well.

  5. Yeah, I love these guys. Don’t be scared by them. Leave them alone long enough and they’ll just smash through a window and fly outside.

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