The Tanyderidae, or primitive crane flies, of the order Diptera, are long, thin, delicate insects with spotted wings, superficially similar in appearance to some Tipulidae, Trichoceridae, and Ptychopteridae. Most species are restricted in distribution. They are found in many parts of the world, including North America, South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and various islands in the Pacific Ocean. Adults are usually found hanging from vegetation near streams. Larvae are found either in sandy stream margins or in wet, rotten wood. Fossil species are known.
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