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Tipulids (crane fly)

The ECN tipulids protocol (IT)


Protocol file


Site types that use this protocol


The larvae of craneflies (Tipulidae) are widespread, numerous and easily sampled in soil. They are rarely, if ever, found at depths below 10 cm and sampling does not involve the degree of soil disturbance which would be incurred, for instance, in sampling earthworms. These larvae are mainly plant feeders; they are important food for many other animals and play a key role in terrestrial food webs. Because several species might be present, estimates of changes of abundance will be possible on a comparative basis. To ensure that sampling covers the latter, larger larval stages, for which both retrieval and identification are easier, it is necessary to sample both in spring and in autumn because, although most species have an annual life cycle, they have different emergence seasons.

Tipulid larvae are extracted from soil cores April and September. Note that more recently we have also been recording adult tipulids collected in moth traps at most ECN terrestrial sites.