Science

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Mandibles and Mosquito Catchers

Posted By on Sun, Jul 21, 2019 at 3:00 PM

Like any collector, I have my unicorns. Near the top of my list was Holorusia haspera, the western giant crane fly. Looking like the biggest mosquito you ever saw, this is an impressive critter. I grew up calling them “mosquito catchers.” As a larva, they live near water, feeding on decaying vegetation in the moist soil. As adults, they are not known to feed at all. These fragile creatures resemblance to the pesky little vampires often gets them killed. I hadn't seen one in years.

The day after I received my newest camera, ordered for its impressive focus stacking capability, I noticed one with a nearly 5-inch leg span on my wall. It was very cooperative so I took dozens of shots using every technique I know for the little camera. Yay, for coincidence.

A giant crane fly with its wings spread to show its abdomen. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A giant crane fly with its wings spread to show its abdomen.
A giant crane fly up close. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A giant crane fly up close.
A giant crane fly measures up. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A giant crane fly measures up.


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