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Adults are very slender, long-legged flies that may vary in length from 2 – 60 mm though tropical species may exceed to 100 mm. Up until recently, all of the members of the families Cylindrotomidae, Limoniidae, and Pediciidae were included within Tipulidae (at the rank of subfamily); they all share the same common names, and similar biology and morphology.
At least 4 250 species of crane flies have been described.