Importance of Crane Flies
Most crane fly larvae (aka leatherjackets) are aquatic, but moist leaf litter can be sufficient. A few species are terrestrial and found in dry habitats including decaying logs. Crane fly larvae live up to a year, and are important feeders of fungi and dead or dying organic matter, aiding in the process of decay. Because many adults are eaten in a location away from the wetland ecosystem where they develop, they return nutrients to drier areas.
In Arctic tundra habitats, crane flies (along with spiders) dominate the fauna and are an important part of the survival of artic breeders like sandpipers and their nestlings. Locally, crane flies are beneficial as a food source to amphibians, reptiles, and fish in addition to birds.