The European crane fly, Tipula paludosa. Leatherjacket.

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The European crane fly, Tipula paludosa. Leatherjacket.

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:49 am

The European crane fly, Tipula paludosa. Leatherjacket.
http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?LGMYP 9May 2008 The European crane fly, Tipula paludosa. Leatherjacket.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?HIDSO European Crane Fly

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?ZFXTB Detailed information about this pest

Common name for the larvae is leatherjacket. I always have some in the garden, but since 2004 not enough to be of real concern. When a seedling is dying for no apparent reason, I always scrape the soil around the base of the plant. At night the leatherjackets crawl up the plant and eat leaves.

This insect was first reported in Canada in 1955 on Cape Breton Island. Vancouver, B.C. in 1965.

For a few years its North American distribution was limited to the Western and Eastern Maritime provinces of Canada (British Columbia and Nova Scotia) and on the western coast of the United States (Washington State and Oregon).

In 1996 and 1997 there were several reports of leatherjackets causing damage in turf from Whitby, Toronto and Hamilton mountain area. In 1998 they were identified as European crane fly

I encountered hundreds if not thousands in 2004 in Branford, and they devastated many seedlings. They thrive in Spring in very wet conditions, and can survive under water. I picked hundreds from around some plants. Eventually flocks of starlings, and grackles got them under control. I watched a bird, through binoculars, eating 15 from the lawn in one minute. There were flocks of bird numbering 50 to 100 several times a day in the garden. I now love blackbirds.

The adult crane fly is harmless, and when seen they have probably already laid their eggs.

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