Reproduction of this insect requires separate sexes and fertilization is internal.  This means that the first step that has to occur is the mating between a male and a female as shown in the photo on the left.  Notice that the female is the larger one on top and the male is the smaller one below.  We find it amazing that they can mate in mid air or hanging down on the surface of a plant.  Additionally, they like to mate near water (Insects of West Virginia 2009)

After they mate, the female has to find a place to lay her eggs.  The best place for her to lay her eggs is where there is food and water, so a suitable environment would be in mud or shallow water filled with lots of debris.  This also helps explain why Phantom Crane Flies like to mate near water.  An adult female can lay over 300 eggs at a time bLarvae with respiratory siphon.y dipping the tip of her abdomen in the mud or water (Insects of West Virginia 2009).  Several days after the eggs settle to the bottom, they hatch into small worm-like larvae.  Since the larvae are in water, they need to breathe through a long respiratory tube called a siphon (Insects of West Virginia 2009).  The picture on the right shows a larva with a long, thin siphon sticking out from its abdomen.  The larvae grow by eating the debris and organic matter in their surrounding environment.  Eventually, they transform into pupae.  After a period of time, the pupae slowly develop into adult flies that are a little less than 16mm in length (Podenas, S.  2007).

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