Spotted Cranefly - Nephrotoma appendiculata


Length 13 to 15 mm. Spotted Craneflies have a yellow body with a broad dark stripe on the dorsal surface of the abdomen, and a series of black stripes on the thorax. There is a black horseshoe mark on the side of the thorax between the wing base and the haltere. The wing stigma is usually pale but can be dark.

Similar Species

Nephrotoma flavescens is very similar but has thinner black stripes along the top of the abdomen which are usually broken.

Identification difficulty

Rough grassland. Can be attracted to light.

When to see it

April to July. It is by far the commonest tiger cranefly in April and May, with peak numbers in May.

Life History

Adults feed on umbellifers such as Cow Parsley. Larvae feed on the roots of grasses.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map