In recent weeks, craneflies have been getting a lot of bad press in some of the more environmentally ignorant media, with stories of ‘plagues of insects’ being used to attract readers, followers, and social media clicks. When you consider the current state of our planet, our climate emergency and biodiversity crisis, I believe this is highly irresponsible behaviour. I can’t do much to counter or challenge these media but I can blog in support of craneflies.
Not only are they harmless, but craneflies are also an important part of a healthy ecosystem, as they provide food at this time of year for birds, bats and other creatures. I had low-flying Swallows criss-crossing behind me the other day as my walk across a local field caused craneflies to flit up from the long grass – unfortunate for the craneflies, but essential nourishment for the migrating birds. If you’d like more information on these much-maligned insects, the Cranefly Recording Scheme, on the Dipterists website, provides a wealth of resources to assist.