Fact or fiction: 'Mosquito-hawks' eat mosquitoes - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Fact or fiction: 'Mosquito-hawks' eat mosquitoes

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The spring brings a boom in the number of crane flies, which are known to many people as "mosquito hawks" or "flying daddy longlegs."

The flying creatures are beloved by many Southern Louisianans who say the insects are not to be killed because they eat mosquitoes.

Zack Lemann, the animal and visitor programs manager for the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, busted the myth.

"No, they don't eat mosquitoes, but they also don't bite. And they're very interesting critters!" said Lemann.

Lemann brought nets into a field in order to catch a crane fly and explain the truth about the giant flying creatures that often find their way into homes and garages.

He explained that most types of crane flies only eat decaying plants as they grow up, and the adults usually don't eat anything at all.

Lemann explained that elsewhere in the country, dragonflies are also known as "mosquito-hawks." Dragonflies do eat mosquitoes, so Lemann said that could be where the confusion with crane flies originated.

Lemann said crane flies are harmless. He said a crane fly's main defense mechanism is its ability to shed its legs, and it's a defense they use so often that it's uncommon to find an adult crane fly that spends it's entire two-week life span with all six legs intact.

Since crane flies are so abundant, Lemann said, they're an important food source for many other animals. So he asks New Orleanians to try to still appreciate crane flies - even though they don't eat mosquitoes.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Lending a Hand: students build prosthetic hand for burn survivor

    Lending a Hand: students build prosthetic hand for burn survivor

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 7:52 AM EDT2017-07-25 11:52:31 GMT
    Engineering design students at Sam Houston High School have spent part of their summer break building a 3D printed prosthetic hand for 12-year-old Bowen Johnson, a burn survivor from Westlake. (Source: KPLC)Engineering design students at Sam Houston High School have spent part of their summer break building a 3D printed prosthetic hand for 12-year-old Bowen Johnson, a burn survivor from Westlake. (Source: KPLC)

    A classroom project is changing the life of a Westlake sixth grader who has no hands. KPLC's Britney Glaser reports engineering design students at Sam Houston High School are seeing in real-life, how technology and heart can combine to help them lend a hand.

    More >>

    A classroom project is changing the life of a Westlake sixth grader who has no hands. KPLC's Britney Glaser reports engineering design students at Sam Houston High School are seeing in real-life, how technology and heart can combine to help them lend a hand.

    More >>
  • TRAFFIC UPDATE: Congestion cleared on I-210 westbound

    TRAFFIC UPDATE: Congestion cleared on I-210 westbound

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 7:41 AM EDT2017-07-25 11:41:03 GMT
    Congestion on I-210 westbound (Source: Google maps)Congestion on I-210 westbound (Source: Google maps)

    There is congestion reported on I-210 westbound between Nelson Road in Lake Charles to I-10/210 split. If possible, please find alternate routes. Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    There is congestion reported on I-210 westbound between Nelson Road in Lake Charles to I-10/210 split. If possible, please find alternate routes. Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • Section 8 housing application process begins

    Section 8 housing application process begins

    Monday, July 24 2017 8:36 PM EDT2017-07-25 00:36:09 GMT

    This morning the Lake Charles housing authority opened its waiting list for the first time since 2014. The waiting list application process closed around noon today hundreds of residents lined up around this building some even lining up as early as 9:45 last night “We had given out 700 applications by 8:30 we ended up over 1,000,” said Ben Taylor, the director of the Lake Charles Housing Authority. He says this will bump up the waiting list for Section 8 housing tremend...

    More >>

    This morning the Lake Charles housing authority opened its waiting list for the first time since 2014. The waiting list application process closed around noon today hundreds of residents lined up around this building some even lining up as early as 9:45 last night “We had given out 700 applications by 8:30 we ended up over 1,000,” said Ben Taylor, the director of the Lake Charles Housing Authority. He says this will bump up the waiting list for Section 8 housing tremend...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly