Adults of the crane flies Tipula (Platytipula) ultima Alexander and Tipula (Platytipula) spenceriana Alexander appear in early autumn in western Michigan. This is the first report of T. spenceriana from the state and the first report of the association between drying ferns (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn) of autumn and the two cryptically-protected tipulids that resemble browning fronds in color and in the shape of their wings at rest. Difficulty was encountered when identifying these species despite their large size, conspicuous flight, and abundance. Therefore, the literature of the 12 currently recognized Nearctic species of subgenus Platytipula was reviewed and illustrations are provided to assist in identification. New information about the biology of the two crane fly species is provided, including habitat and the egg stage.
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