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Invasion of 200bn daddy longlegs on way

By Staff Reporter

Published 08/09/2016

The crane fly can be a food source for birds and other wildlife
The crane fly can be a food source for birds and other wildlife

Billions of daddy longlegs are set to hatch out this autumn in a "boom of food" for wildlife - including a giant variety spreading north because of climate change.

The insects - also known as crane flies - provide food for wildlife like birds and spiders just before winter comes, insect charity Buglife said.

Some 200 billion of the harmless insects, which commonly head into homes, are expected to hatch out this year because of a warm summer and recent rain.

Most of the crane flies hatching out are Tipula paludosa, a species around an inch in size which is found across the UK.

A non-native species, Tipula maxima, with a leg span of up to four inches, is also spreading north due to rising temperatures.

Buglife's Rory Dimond said: "They are gradually spreading northwards. They are a non-native species, and they come in from the trading points down the south, in areas like Dover and Kent.

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