Thread subject: :: Why are Tipulidae legs so long ?

Posted by frikosal on 24-04-2006 12:31

Why are Tipulidae legs so long ?

This is what I always ask myself when I see one. The legs seem clearly oversized to be useful, and they seem the main reason for their slow flight.

IMHO, as such long legs seem useless, they must be related with reproduction.

A friend suggested me that for females the long legs provide oportunities for putting the eggs in better locations in wet vertical surfaces. Males need the long legs for copulation.

Is this a correct explanation ?

Posted by Juergen Peters on 25-04-2006 23:26


I think the long legs are simply an adaption to the grassy habitat of many Tipulidae. Long legs are very useful to grip somewhat distant halms. Also other insects and arachnids, which live in such habitats, have very elongated legs (harvestmen, plume moths, some true bugs, locusts etc.). That seems plausible to me. I often see Tipulids or harvestmen "hanging" on grass halms with their legs.