Currently viewing the category: "Scorpionflies"
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Subject: Winged beasty
Location: Newark, Delaware
March 21, 2015 10:20 am
Hi,
Can you help to identify this strange-looking creature? I spotted this little guy about 5 months ago around October. He was walking along a lumber pile at the lumber yard I work at. The lumber yard backs right up to a wooded area that is part of a state park on the banks of the Christina river. Thanks!
Signature: amateur entomologist

Scorpionfly

Scorpionfly

Dear amateur entomologist,
Your stange beastie is a Scorpionfly in the genus
Panorpa.  According to BugGuide, they are generally found on:  “low shrubs and ground cover in densely-vegetated woodlands, often near water or wet seeps; grasslands; cultivated fields; forest borders adults are usually seen resting on leaves in shaded areas less than a metre from the ground.”  They are harmless creatures and according to BugGuide:  “Adults feed mainly on dead/dying insects, rarely on nectar/fruit:  Larvae scavenge on decaying organic matter or dead insects; may prey on soil insects.”

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Confirm ID of beetle
Location: Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, TX
November 19, 2014 11:45 am
Recently my wife and I were at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge in Texas photographing the waterfowl. This beetle which I am gussing is the Long Jawed Longhorn Beetle landed on our windshield and I took the picture from inside of our car with my iPhone. I didn’t get to see his top view, but this really shows a long jaw. Can you confirm his ID.
You may use the picture any way you like, but please mention my name as the photographer.
Signature: Joseph A. Sinka

Scorpionfly

Scorpionfly

Dear Joseph,
This impressive insect is not a beetle, but rather a Scorpionfly in the order Mecoptera and most likely in the genus
Panorpa.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults feed mainly on dead/dying insects, rarely on nectar/fruit.”

Hi Daniel,
Thanks, I don’t think I could have ever identified him as a Scorpionfly.  I just looked it up in my field guide and the size of the one I saw was somewhere between 1″ to 1-1/2″ long; much larger than the 3/8″ mentioned in the guide.
I don’t know how common they are, but this is a first for me.
Thanks for your help and I plan to go back again this weekend,
Joe

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug for ID
Location: Tiddesley Wood, Pershore, UK
September 6, 2014 9:41 am
Saw this rather beautiful ‘fly’ and wondered what it was! I have a better quality image if you would like it.
Signature: Jean Booth

Scorpionfly

Scorpionfly

Dear Jean,
Our email submission system is able to handle large digital files and we would love to get a higher resolution image of this Scorpionfly in the order Mecoptera.  We found some matching images on Olympus System Talk UK, but they are not identified to the species level.
  Bugs and Weeds identifies it as Panorpa communis, and there are some nice images on Nature Spot.  Your individual is a female.  Please send a higher quality image.

Higher Resolution image attached
Regards
Jean

Scorpionfly

Scorpionfly

Thanks Jean,
That is much better.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: BUG ID
Location: south of france
June 16, 2014 12:18 pm
Hello Bugman,
Please find attached a picture of a bug I took today – in the South of France. I think it might be a scorpion fly but am not sure…could you help to confirm its ID please?
Signature: Budding bugster

Scorpionfly

Scorpionfly

Dear Budding bugster,
This is indeed a Scorpionfly in the order Mecoptera, and it looks very similar to this individual from France posted to FlickR.  So many Scorpionflies look so very similar that we would not even attempt to identify this beyond the general order classification.  BugGuide, though it is devoted to North American insects, provides this interesting information:  “Mating behavior: the male offers some kind of food (a dead insect or a piece of a brown salivary secretion that becomes gelatinous as it dries) and emits a pheromone (an air-borne chemical signal) from vesicles within the abdominal segment 9. A female is attracted to the pheromone or the food, whereupon the male grasps the end of her abdomen with the claw-like genital appendages (dististyles) and clamps the front edge of one of the female’s forewings in a structure on the mid-dorsal part of his abdominal segments 3 and 4 (the notal organ). Mating then takes place as the female feeds.  Adults may emit an unpleasant odor when molested.”

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Subject: Wasp with a skorpion like body
Location: Central, Texas
October 25, 2012 10:55 am
I found several on a mound of wet cat food.
Signature: Lone Star

Subject: More Skorpion Fly pictures
Location: Central, Texas
October 25, 2012 1:13 pm
Like I said before there was 5 of them on my cats wet food. Thanks in advance for your help.
Signature: Lone Star

Scorpionfly

Dear Lone Star,
We are fascinated by Scorpionflies being attracted to cat food.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults feed mainly on dead/dying insects, rarely on nectar/fruit” but nothing about cat food.  We much prefer live Scorpionflies to dead ones.  They are not harmful to cats or humans, and our instincts lead us to believe that this is Unnecessary Carnage.

Scorpionflies

Daniel,
Thank you for the info & your quick reply.
I had never seen one & with all the invasive specie these days, I was concerned.

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Subject: Never seen before by me
Location: south Missouri
September 20, 2012 1:34 pm
I have never seen this insect before and lately, there are several. It has a black elongated snout and black legs, with a red body, ending with a tail like a scorpion. It’s wings are black and orange.
I observed one rubbing it’s front legs on a dead cricket and then it’s snout repeatedly.
Signature: Pach

Scorpionfly

Hi Pach,
Your verbal description is spot-on since this is a Scorpionfly in the genus
Panorpa which you can verify on BugGuide where it states:  “Adults feed mainly on dead/dying insects, rarely on nectar/fruit:  Larvae scavenge on decaying organic matter or dead insects; may prey on soil insects.”  Bugguide also has this wonderful information:  “Mating behavior: the male offers some kind of food (a dead insect or a piece of a brown salivary secretion that becomes gelatinous as it dries) and emits a pheromone (an air-borne chemical signal) from vesicles within the abdominal segment 9. A female is attracted to the pheromone or the food, whereupon the male grasps the end of her abdomen with the claw-like genital appendages (dististyles) and clamps the front edge of one of the female’s forewings in a structure on the mid-dorsal part of his abdominal segments 3 and 4 (the notal organ). Mating then takes place as the female feeds.(8)
Adults may emit an unpleasant odor when molested.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination