Mosquito Hawk? Do they really eat mosquitoes?

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by BillCr, May 31, 2011.

  1. BillCr

    BillCr Guide Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southwest Indiana
    I've always heard and thought these eat mosquitoes but some reading I've done says this is a myth??? Fact or fiction?? I've let a couple live in my house the last couple days because some mosquitoes got in as well.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  2. Branm008

    Branm008 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    3,092
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    North Georgia
    Aye id love to know. We always get tons of these when im in the garage working in the shop or something. They do nothing to keep the mosquitos gone i can tell you that but i dont know if they really do eat them. Would love to know though.

    -Brandon
     
  3. dead short

    dead short Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Michigan's Agricultural Wasteland
    According to chacha.com - Mosquito hawks are colloquial terms for crane flies and dragonflies. Dragonflies do eat mosquitoes, crane flies do not.

    Also thought it was interesting that on wiki-answers it says that adults do not feed.

    I always thought they did when I was growing up.
     
  4. Farmboy

    Farmboy Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago 'Burbs
    I am far from an expert on just about anything, but I always remember being taught that what is in your photo is a male mosquito and all the little ones that we all hate are the female of the species. Wow, reading that back makes it seem kinda chauvinistic.... Sorry ladies. :eek: Maybe we'll get some real insight soon.
    -Farm.
     
  5. crimescene450

    crimescene450 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA & Northeast OH for summer and winter
    Mosquito hawks, more accurately called crane flies, do not eat at all. The adult forms that we're used to seeing only mate, and lay eggs. The larvae occasionally eat mosquito larvae, but are not a major predator of them.

    Dragonflies do eat alot of mosquitos though.
     
  6. NorthernBushcraft

    NorthernBushcraft Scout Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    759
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    British Columbia
    They call them Leather Jackets around here (my wife calls them "Bops"). I always thought they ate mosquitoes too. I guess I'll be shooing them out of the house now... at least the ones the cat doesn't eat.

    He loves 'em :4:
     
  7. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    13,442
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Montana
    Never heard of crane fly larvae eating mosquito larvae, since they have two entirely different habitats and metamorphic cycles.
    We've all seen mosquito larvae swimming around in stagnant water. They come to the surface to "hatch" into mosquitoes.
    Crane flies deposit their eggs in soil, though a small number of species are aquatic. The grubs they produce are one of the main antagonists of lawn grass. They eat the roots. Big patches of dead grass in your lawn are probably caused by crane fly larvae. The larvae/grubs get about 3/4" long before metamorphosing into adults. It's the larvae that get the nickname 'leatherjackets'.
    The adults of some species feed on nectar, but most do not feed, but only mate, and die. The adult life span varies by species.
     
  8. BillCr

    BillCr Guide Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southwest Indiana
    :4: Yeah, my cat loves them too.
     
  9. Apache

    Apache Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Male mosquitoes do look a little bit like crane flies, but are much, much, much smaller.
     
  10. DancesWithaTrout

    DancesWithaTrout Guest

    Blog Posts:
    0
    We use small bats and have a few bat houses up on the pole barn....we have noticed many dead mosquitos this week in the door entrance door base, literally hand fulls. I put a bunch in a plastic baggie and went down and fed the bulegill in the pond... :)

    Our zapping bug lite has been in overdrive as well this week....

    Ths is an article on what eats mosquitoes and how to attract those predators....

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/285145/how_to_attract_wildlife_that_eats_mosquitoes.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2011
  11. joe305

    joe305 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,934
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Florida Mangroves and Swamps
    We call them Daddy long legs (not the spider)......The adults do occasionally eat Nectar......The larvae do not eat mosquito larvae......They eat Roots and Grass and can cause damage to crops
     
  12. pentalarc

    pentalarc Tinder Gatherer

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just passing by and I thought I would clear this up, since I know the answer.

    It's a regional difference. In the south (especially in Louisiana, where I'm from) "Mosquito Hawk" refers to dragonflies, especially a few species of large ones, which are active hunters, which do hunt, kill, and eat mosquitoes.

    In most other places, it refers to Crane Flys, the adults of which do not eat.

    So if you want the bug in your house to eat mosquitoes, make sure it's a dragonfly. Preferable the large ones with green bodies and white heads, which at least down here, seem to be the best hunters.
     
  13. DBX

    DBX Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,083
    Likes Received:
    95
    Location:
    Angleton, Texas
    Doesn't the Nymph stage of the Dragon Fly eat Mosquito larvae as well?
     
  14. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    39,624
    Likes Received:
    1,517
    Location:
    Texas
    Yes, they do. Dragonflies and Damselflies -Order Odonata- have aquatic larvae that feed on mosquito larvae quite well. The adults also feed on adult mosquitoes , at least in many species.

    mosquito Hawk, Snake Doctor- there are several regional names that may have different meanings in different area.
     
  15. BrendaM53

    BrendaM53 Tinder Gatherer

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anyone know if they bite or sting like mosquitoes?
     
  16. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    14,055
    Likes Received:
    2,185
    Location:
    Vatican City
    How can i Grow Dragonflies ??? like 100 billion of them
     
  17. wingryder

    wingryder Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    28.36n, 81.26w
    I remember a very cool experience while bird watching in a costal Georgia wildlife area. I was walking a trail along a pond and was swarmed by thousands of mosquitoes... Almost before I could react, dozens of huge dragonflies swarmed me too. They quickly took care of the mosquito plague, and they followed me for approx 150 meters, circling me like a cloud of electrons.
     
  18. Bookshelf

    Bookshelf Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    The Frozen North
    That would be a trip. Thanks for the share wingryder.
     
  19. Doubles

    Doubles BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Messages:
    1,685
    Likes Received:
    681
    Location:
    In the naughty corner
    They do not- and welcome to the forum
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  20. lattie11581

    lattie11581 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I had the same experience canoeing on lows lake in NY! It was a cool sight to be seen. The skeeters were swarmed in the Lee of my canoe and in came what seemed like 100s of large dragon flies.
     
  21. kisatchieman

    kisatchieman Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2013
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    North Louisiana
    I've actually watched dragonflies "mosquito hawks" catch and fly away with mosquitoes. Beautiful sight.
     
  22. ineffableone

    ineffableone Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    156
    Location:
    Pac Northwet
    Some of the Crane Fly larvae do eat mosquito larvae

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crane_fly
    However as that quote might hint at, not all Crane Flies are carnivorous.

    In North America, more than 1,500 species of crane flies have been described. Larvae of some aquatic species are predators on other small invertebrates, and several are herbivores on algae, moss or herbaceous plants.

    So to answer the OP's question, of do Crane Flies (mosquito hawks) eat mosquitoes? Sometimes, depends on which type of Crane Fly and only in it's larval form.
     

Share This Page