Fold-winged Cranefly

Ptychoptera contaminata

Description

Over all length 8 - 11mm. This species is shiny black with reddish shading in the female on each abdominal segment, whilst the male has one red band half way down the abdomen. The legs are reddish with dark knees. The wings have black patches on them. Apart from the wing venation the other thing that distinguishes Fold-winged Craneflies (Ptychopteromorpha) from the true Craneflies (Tipulomorpha) is the U-shaped suture on the top of the thorax. It is V-shaped in the Craneflies. This is shown well in the fifth picture below.

Habitat

Boggy areas, rich in humus, with tall emergent vegetation.

Status and distribution

Quite common in the lowland south and east of Britain. Less common further north and almost absent in Scotland. Regularly seen on the reserve.

Best time to see

Mid-June to mid-August.