I awoke this morning to my usual radio station, but the DJs were bantering about “giant mosquitoes” that one of them was seeing in his house recently. I knew immediately that what he was referring to were harmless “crane flies” in the family Tipulidae. I also knew they were emerging in fair numbers because I photographed this pair (female above, male below) as they rested on a pillar at the University of Arizona campus during the recent Tucson Festival of Books.
I got up, went to the phonebook, and found the number for the station. As luck would have it, I got right through to Blake and Jennie, and told them what I knew.
”Are they good dog food?” asked Blake, “because my dog sure loves to eat ‘em.” We all got a collective chuckle out of that, and I replied that “They won’t do your dog any harm, let’s put it that way.” We hung up, and I went back to bed for a minute to hear what would happen next. Well, they played our conversation on the air, mystery solved.
I’d really enjoy doing a regular “spot” on a drive time radio show, answering questions about insects and arachnids from the listening public. Meanwhile, you can meet my over-the-phone friends Jennie and Blake at the website for 92.9 the Mountain, KWMT FM in Tucson.