There are only three genera worldwide in the family Ptychopteridae, and Bittacomorpha is one of them (Insects of West Virginia 2009).  The other two are Bittacomorphella and Ptychoptera(Fetzner 2005).

Tipulidae (daddy long legs crane flies), Tanyderidae (primitive crane flies) and Trichoceridae (winter crane flies) are the closest relatives to the Phantom Crane Flies (Young 2011)

The first tarsomere (the first segment of the tarsus) of the legs is dilated and filled with trachea, which is a characteristic that allows the insect to drift in the wind with their long legs extended to catch the breeze (Insects of West Virginia 2009).

When Phantom Crane Flies are in mid air, all of their legs are perpendicular to the ground making them look like a floating “snowflake” (Insects of West Virginia 2009).



Return Home | Back | Next