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winter crane flies
Trichocera hiemalis.jpg
Trichocera hiemalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Nematocera
Infraorder: Tipulomorpha
Superfamily: Trichoceroidea
Family: Trichoceridae

Trichoceridae, or winter crane flies, of the order Diptera are long, thin, delicate insects superficially similar in appearance to the Tipulidae, Tanyderidae, and Ptychopteridae. The presence of ocelli distinguishes the Trichoceridae from these other families. The adults can be found flying in the fall and the spring and some are active even in the winter, hence their common name. They form dancing, loose swarms of mostly males. Adults can also be found resting inside caves and hollow logs. Larvae occur in moist habitats where they feed on decaying vegetable matter.


  • Borror, D.J., C.A. Triplehorn, & N.A. Johnson. 1989. An Introduction to the Study of Insects, Sixth edition. Saunders College Publishing.
  • Krzemińska, E. 1991. Trichoceridae. Checklist of Animals of Poland. Vol. II. J. Razowski, ed. Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków. Ossolineum, Polish Academy of Sciences.
  • Krzemińska, E. 1995. Trichoceridae. Checklist delle specie della fauna Italiana. Vol. 62-65. Pp. 17–39. Edizioni Calderini.
  • Krzemińska, E. 1996. Trichoceridae. Brand-Stof. Een inventarisatie van der entomofauna van het Natuurreservaat "De Brand" in 1990. J. W. A. van Zuijlen, T. M. J. Peeters, P. S. van Wielink, A. P. W. van Eck, & E. H. M. Bouvy, eds. Insektenwerkgroep KNNV-afdeling Tillburg. Pp. 97–98.
  • Pratt, H.D. 2003. The winter crane flies of North America north of Mexico (Diptera: Trichoceridae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 105: 901–914.

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