There are close to 30 species of winter crane flies in North America. Compared to some of the massive crane flies we see in flight in spring and summer, they are relatively small (only about 6 mm in length). Unlike other species of crane flies, winter crane flies have 3 simple eyes (or ocelli). The adults can be found flying in the fall and the spring. And as you might guess from their name, some are active even in the winter. Larvae are generally found in damp conditions with organic decay, like compost, manure, and fungi, where they scavenge a variety of plant material.

Photo by: Glenn Marangelo on 12/27/20 in Pattee Canyon Recreation Area near Missoula, MT