What insect is this?

Found this in southern Bangalore, India. Looked dangerous, flew really slowly with its body upright and legs spread out and landed on a wall.

Size: about 1.5 inches tall, 1.5 inches wide, when spread.

These photos are zoomed in and rather dull colored, but the actual color was a bright orange, like #FF9050 and dark black.




  • $\begingroup$ The long legs suggest one of the crane fly families (Tipulidae, Cylindrotomidae, Pediciidae, Limoniidae, Tanyderidae most likely; Ptychopteridae and Trichoceridae less so); the pointed abdomen tells me your subject was female. The patterned wings might make identification a little easeir--if India has a version of bugguide.net, that would be your next stop. $\endgroup$ – Arthur J Frost Jun 30 '18 at 2:18
  • $\begingroup$ @ArthurJFrost: Thanks, you pointed me the right way. I dug it up. See my posted answer! Cheers! $\endgroup$ – SNag Jul 2 '18 at 13:01

Pselliophora laeta, a species of crane fly (Tipulidae) in the Ctenophorinae subfamily.

Route to discovery: Reverse image searching my own photo on Google led me to a matching image on Naturalista (Familia Tipulidae), and in-turn to iNaturalist, which showed me to Genus Dictenidia. Further Googling for "Genus Dictenidia" brought up many families of crane-fly, which I visually scanned until I spotted it -- Pselliophora! That led to Wikipedia, and to this image, which mentions its source to be whatsthatbug, where the discussion cites Pselliophora laeta on India Nature Watch.


1 Source: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/299363
Observed: Thiruvananthapuram, India; Jul 28, 2012 5:13 PM IST

Mating Crane Flies from India 2 3 Source: https://www.whatsthatbug.com/2010/09/30/mating-crane-flies-from-india/
Observed: Mumbai, India; Sep 30, 2010 1:43 AM IST


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.