Subject: this bug is totally weird and awesome
Geographic location of the bug: Sonoma county northern California
Time: 12:12 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: This bug was on a rose in my garden. Seems totally harmless, my son and I held it for a while, very cool little bug. Really want to know what it is.
How you want your letter signed: Hannah Erickson
We can’t agree with you more. This insect is “totally weird and awesome” and at first we thought it might be a wingless Crane Fly, but we quickly realized its head looked more like that of a Scorpionfly, and we discovered Apterobittacus apterus, a Wingless Scorpionfly or Wingless Hanging Fly on BugGuide where the range is listed as “Central California; common in the San Francisco Bay Area” and the season is listed as “late March to early June.” On the genus page, BugGuide states “The only completely wingless member of the family.” There are also images posted to iNaturalist and Encyclopedia of Life. Scorpionflies are not true flies, and they are harmless predators.