Associate Professor, Turfgrass (Emeritus)
Washington State University
Tipula paludosa Meigen, European Crane fly, is the most serious insect pest to turfgrass west of the Cascade Mountains. Crane fly adults were observed emerging from putting greens at our research facility in late March. This is approximately four months early for the European Crane fly. An adult was sent to Pullman and it was not a European Crane fly, but it was not positively identified.
Dr. Bob Costello from the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture in British Columbia had a positive identification of another adult crane fly in Vancouver, B. C. as Tipula oleracea. This crane fly, commonly called the giant common crane fly, has been found in Southern and Central Europe. It has two generations per year, with adults peaking in April and October, while the adult European Crane fly peaks in August-September.
The shoots of winter cereals, wheat and barley can be damaged by having the underground part of the stem cut by Tipula oleracea. It has not been positively identified in Washington yet, but it is suspected from the timing of adult emergence this year, that this crane fly has moved into our area over the past few years.The Department of Agriculture is currently helping us to try and get a positive identification, since this could mean serious damage in our wheat production areas.