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.
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.”