Scientific name: Tipula paludosa Meigen and T. oleraceae Linnaeus
Native range: Europe
There are no federal, state or local regulations related to European crane flies.
Tipula paludosa was first detected in North America in 1955 (Nova Scotia) and can now be found in both the northeastern and northwestern U.S. Tipula oleraceae was first detected in British Columbia in 1998 and can now be found in many of the same areas as T. paludosa. Neither species has ever been reported in Minnesota but are known to be present as near as Michigan.
Tipula paludosa has one generation per year and adults emerge in late summer. Tipula oleraceae may have two generations per year with adults emerging in early spring and late summer. Adults for both species live for a short time and lay eggs in grassy areas. Larvae live in and on the ground and feed on the roots and blades of grasses.
Crane fly adults may resemble overgrown mosquitoes but they do not bite or carry diseases. Many crane fly species can be found in Minnesota and an entomologist will be required to differentiate adults of European crane flies from our native species. The presence of European crane flies may be more likely to be noticed as a result of turf damage than finding adult flies. European crane fly feeding can result in damage to turf similar to that caused by grubs such as Japanese beetle. European crane flies are not strong fliers and adults may be found near the areas where they emerged. The presence of many crane flies near an area of damaged lawn may be an indicator that European crane flies are present. A close examination of damaged areas may show empty pupal cases sticking out of the ground from emerging crane flies. Searching in the soil in and around damaged areas may also lead to finding crane fly larvae.
Host Plants and Impact - European crane flies can be pests of turf grass. The larvae require moist conditions, so well-irrigated turf may be the most susceptible.
European crane fly information from Cornell University
Visit the University of Minnesota website for information about diagnosing and managing problems with lawns and turf.
Contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture via Arrest the Pest if you suspect an infestation of European crane flies.