Thursday, September 18, 2008

NOT an odonate!

It's a Crane Fly (genus Tipulidae).

The cool thing about Crane Flies (and all Dipteras) are their counterweights...their halteres.  Those little knobby things sticking out of the fly's thorax are the functional equivalent of gyroscopes.  They counterbalance the movement of the fly's wings and help it maintain the proper attitude in flight, as well as providing feedback directly to the fly's wing musculature, a sort of autopilot.

Pretty cool, huh?

These are harmless.  No sting, bite, or any other annoyance.   They're not male mosquitos (I hear that one a lot).

Respectfully submitted,



Binner said...

Hi Canoelover,
Binner here, MK's bud from Duluth. Love your blog, too funny! I have learned more about "bugs" than I ever did in college, and I went to Northland?! Love the "halteres"-remind me of the stabilizers I used to put on my compound bow when I competed--they work! Also, after seeing the stack of cakes you made for Ian, I HAD to go have some for dinner last night. I don't think they were as good as yours... So thanks for the very entertaining blog you share! Cheers!

canoelover said...

Y'know, the compound bow/halteres analogy is pretty dead on. Cool.

You're lucky to love close to MK. I miss my (adopted) sister and don't see her enough.

Glad you enjoy the blog, I sure enjoy writing it. Adios!