Crane Flies and mosquitoes belong to the Order Diptera and are easily mistaken for each other.
Crane flies Mosquitoes
Larger in size ( ~ 9 – 60 mm) Smaller in Size ( ~ 6.25 mm)
Body is longer and thinner Body is shorter and thicker
Wings jut out from side of body Wings rest above abdomen
Pointed abdomen that looks like a sting ( is not) Absence of sting-like structure at end of abdomen
No feeding mouth parts (adults do not eat) Piercing and sucking mouthpart called proboscis
Crane fly larvae, known as leatherjackets, feed on living and decomposing plant matter. The larvae therefore play an important role in soil ecosystems. The adults and larvae are fed on by other animals in the ecosystems they are found in. However, the larvae can be destructive agricultural pests when present in abundance. The adults exist for a few days only and do not feed. Thus, despite their predatory appearance they do not carry out this function of predating on mosquitoes or other insects smaller than them.