Turns Out Those Pesky ''Mosquito Hawks'' Don't Eat Mosquitoes After All

April 4, 2018

If you have lived in Texas long enough, then you are no doubt familiar with the all too annoying "Mosquito hawks".  It's spring time here in the Lone Star State and that means that we all have plenty of them buzzing around our screen doors and outside lights just waiting for its chance to make it inside.  But, even though most Texans believe they eat mosquitoes, hence their name, they in fact DO NOT eat mosquitoes!  (We know, our minds were blown to.)

"They are a big annoyance this time of year," says James Kennedy, a biological sciences professor at the University of North Texas. 

Other than their famous name, they are often times referred to as Texas-sized mosquitoes.  However, Kennedy says he has no idea how the insects got those names.  What they are in fact known as, are crane flies, and actually serve as food for other insects, birds or fish.  Apparently what they do eat is nectar, decomposing materials and love compost piles..

Erfan Vafaie, extension program specialist at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Overton, believes that in the past people confused dragonflies with crane flies and just stuck that way.  "Dragonflies, on the other hand, are insect predators, both as adults and as larvae. Their larvae are also aquatic and can feed on mosquito larvae, whereas adults can feed on mosquito adults," he wrote in an email.  

There is also the myth that they are giant mosquitoes and will bite you but that is simply untrue and Professor Kennedy says that other than being the usual nuisance, they are pretty harmless.  

-source via dallasnews.com