large crane flies

(Subfamily Tipulinae)

large crane fly (Subfamily Tipulinae)
Photo by Alfredo Colon

Tipulinae is a subfamily of large crane flies. There are 476 species in 32 genera of Tipulinae worldwide, at least 83 species in 8 genera in North America north of Mexico, and at least 51 species in at least 5 genera in Minnesota.


Tipulinae, as the common name indicates, are large crane flies.

The paired, finger-like, sensory appendages attached to the mouth (palps) have 4 segments. The terminal segment is very long, longer than the first three segments combined. The snout (rostrum) is very short and has a beak-like point (nasus) that is usually distinct. The antennae have 13 segments.

On almost all species, the wings are more than long. On most species they are much larger. The first subcostal vein Sc1 is incomplete or missing. The anterior cubital (CuA) vein is slightly curved upward just before branching into the CuA1 and CuA2 veins.


Distribution Map



24, 27, 30, 82.



Diptera (flies)  


Nematocera (long-horned flies)  


Tipulomorpha (crane flies)  


Tipuloidea (typical crane flies)  


Tipulidae (large crane flies)  

Subordinate Taxa


Genus Austrotipula

Genus Brachypremna

Genus Brithura

Genus Clytocosmus (Alpine crane flies)

Genus Dolichopeza

Genus Elnoretta

Genus Euvaldiviana

Genus Goniotipula

Genus Holorusia

Genus Hovapeza

Genus Hovatipula

Genus Idiotipula

Genus Indotipula

Genus Ischnotoma

Genus Keiseromyia

Genus Leptotarsus

Genus Macgregoromyia

Genus Megistocera

Genus Nephrotoma (tiger crane flies)

Genus Nigrotipula

Genus Ozodicera

Genus Platyphasia

Genus Prionocera

Genus Prionota

Genus Ptilogyna

Genus Scamboneura

Genus Sphaerionotus

Genus Tipula

Genus Tipulodina

Genus Valdiviana

Genus Zelandotipula






Common Names


This subfamily has no common name. The common name for the family Tipulidae is large crane flies, and it is applied here for convenience.










Short for pedipalp. A segmented, finger-like process of an arthropod; one is attached to each maxilla and two are attached to the labium. They function as sense organs in spiders and insects, and as weapons in scorpions. Plural: palpi or palps.



The stiff, beak-like projection of the carapace or prolongation of the head of an insect, crustacean, or cetacean.






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Alfredo Colon

    large crane fly (Subfamily Tipulinae)      








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  Alfredo Colon
Summer 2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

large crane fly (Subfamily Tipulinae)







Created: 8/18/2022

Last Updated:

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