Do mosquito hawks actually eat mosquitoes? Nope. Adults and larvae do not feed on mosquitoes. Nor do they sting or bite. Although some people think these flies look like Texas-sized mosquitoes, they have wrongly been called “mosquito hawks.” They are actually large tan-colored, fragile crane flies with long, spindly legs.
Do mosquito hawks actually eat mosquitoes? Larvae of some crane fly species consume other living aquatic insects and invertebrates, which could hopefully include mosquito larvae. Many adults, however, have such short lifespans that they do not eat at all and, despite widely held beliefs that the adult crane fly preys on mosquito populations, the adult crane fly is anatomically incapable of killing or consuming other insects.
Numerous other common names have been applied to the crane fly. Many of the names are more or less regional in the U.S., including mosquito hawk, mosquito eater, gallinipper and, our favorite, gollywhopper. They are also known as daddy longlegs around the world, not to be confused with daddy-long-leg spiders (arachnids of the order Opiliones or the family Pholcidae).
The adult mosquito hawk female usually contains mature eggs as she emerges from her pupa, and often mates immediately if a male is available. Males search for females by walking or flying about looking for a date. Copulation takes a few minutes to hours and may be accomplished in flight. Adults have a lifespan of 10-to-15 days. The female immediately oviposits, usually in wet soil or mats of algae. Some lay eggs on the surface of a water body or in dry soils, and some reportedly simply drop them in flight. Most crane-fly eggs are black in color. They often have a filament, which may help anchor the egg in wet or aquatic environments. The larvae of crane flies are known commonly as leatherjackets.
Although generally not considered an agricultural pest, the larvae of some mosquito hawk species have been observed on some crops, including vegetables, fruits, cereals, pasture, lawn grasses, and ornamental plants.
So, do mosquito hawks actually eat mosquitoes? No. And they’re really crane flies. However, if you have some pesky pests around, please contact us at ClearDefense Pest Control HERE. We can help!
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