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“Large fly, looks like mosquito” … So began what figured to become a long, confusing  internet search.  But then google returned a simple result:  it is a mosquito.

Toxorhynchites rutilus, the elephant mosquito, is several times larger than Little Crum Creek’s more frequently encountered mosquitoes. It is also, everafter,  infinitely more welcome.

That’s because the elephant mosquito doesn’t desire blood.  Both male & female prefer nectar from flowers such as the two varieties of summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) pictured above.

And that’s not all.  A female  will deposit her eggs in the same watery spots as bloodsuckers like the eastern treehole mosquito.  That way her larvae can devour theirs.  In fact, each larva might consume up to 400 other larvae.    (The adventurous can watch a fascinating video of this live action on youtube.)

Now that’s one mosquito we don’t want to swat.