Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Identify flying bug

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Question
strange bug
strange bug  
I live in central GA and I saw a "floating" flat bug about the size of a 1/2 dollar yesterday around 10:00am.  It appeared to move kind of like a jelly fish or a dandelion seed but didn't rely totally on the wind and could move around on its own.  I was not able to take a picture but I have drawn a picture of what it looked like.  It had a tiny body in the middle and many "legs" coming out from the center like a star fish.  Each leg had a black area at the end.  Can you tell me what this might be.

Answer
Kathy:

Ok, interesting illustration....:-)

I think you are probably describing a "phantom crane fly," like these:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/486

One of my favorite insects, and totally harmless, too.  Neat find!

Please let me know if this is definitely *not* what you saw, but I don't have many other suspects given your description.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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