The investigation of crane flies (Diptera: Tipulidae) in the current territory of Mongolia started in 1880 with specimens collected by G. N. Potanin in north-central Mongolia. The most productive period has been during the last 17 years with the sampling and research fostered by the joint American-Mongolian Lake Hovsgol Survey in 1995–1997 and the Mongolian Aquatic Insect Survey (2003–2011). Since 1995, among the true crane flies, the families Cylindrotomidae (4 species) and Trichoceridae (5 species) have been newly discovered in Mongolia, the number of Tipulidae has doubled (now 136 species), the number of Limoniidae tripled (140 species), and nearly eight times more Pediciidae (15 species). In addition, two species of Tanyderidae (primitive crane flies), and one species of Ptychopteridae (phantom crane flies) are known from Mongolia.
Most Mongolian species have Palaearctic (29.0%), Eastern Palaearctic (28.7%), or Mongolian Plateau (14.0%) distribution ranges. The peak flight period for adult crane flies is during the first 20 days of July and with highest diversity at altitudes from 1,000 through 1,800 m. Most crane fly species in Mongolia have larvae developing in aquatic habitats (50.8% of species with known larvae). Those species whose larvae develop in terrestrial habitats develop in leaf litter or soil (31.6%), decaying wood (9.9%), fungi (5.8%), or in dung (2.9%).