ISSN 1911-2173


Bittacidae Enderlein 1910

Bittacids can be recognized by their single raptorial tarsal claw and by their long legs and wings that give them a superficial resemblance to crane flies (Tipulidae: Diptera). In Ontario there is only one genus (Bittacus) and two species which can be separated without the use of genitalic characters.

The only three species of Bittacidae in Ontario are easily distinguished on the basis of wing colour, venation and pattern as shown in the photos here.  All three species are predators found hanging from plants (never standing on vegetation like Panorpidae)  in a variety of habitats, but especially in moist forests with patches of nettles.

Bittacus strigosus Hagen 1861

Wings clear with heavily margined crossveins. Pterostigma yellow. Legs and abdomen dark yellow to light brown.

B. strigosus is the more common and widespread of the three Ontario Bittacus species.