Thursday, March 19, 2009

On the Radio

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.


  1. Great blog, Eric. And really spectacular photos. I took your advice and threw together a little something of my own. I'd love to hear what you think if you have a minute to check it out. is the URL. A quick question: Are this the insect also known as the misquito hawk?

  2. Can't believe you finally traded in you net for a digital camera. Oh, wait. I see you still have the net too. Double trouble. :-)

  3. Ben, thanks for dropping by! Yes, crane flies are also known as "mosquito hawks," "daddy longlegs" (in England at least), and probably go by many other names as well. I'll try and get over to your blog shortly, but things are really busy:-)


Blog author currently unable to reply to reader comments, nor comment himself. Working to resolve this.