Currently viewing the category: "Scorpionflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  this bug  is totally weird and awesome
Geographic location of the bug:  Sonoma county northern California
Date: 05/20/2018
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

Wingless Scorpionfly

Dear Hannah,
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.

Wingless Scorpionfly

Wingless Scorpionfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown Flying Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Fort Worth, Texas
Date: 10/24/2017
Time: 09:38 PM EDT
I came across this insect in the woods near Fort Worth.  I tried to find it on insect identification sites without success.  Please help
How you want your letter signed:  Steven Autry

Scorpionfly

Dear Steven,
Your images of this harmless Scorpionfly are gorgeous.  According to Bumblebee.org:  “
Scorpion flies got their name because the tail end of the adult male’s abdomen is swollen and turns up to look like a scorpion …, but the insect is harmless. The swelling is actually the genital capsule. The female … is similar, but with a slim, straight abdomen. Both have the beautiful wing pattern seen in the photograph below.  The adults are scavengers feeding on dead insects, rotting fruit, and even bird droppings. They prefer shady locations, and as they are weak fliers they tend to crawl about on vegetation. Although they are not common insects the shape of the head and the tail, if you find a male, makes them easy to recognise.

Scorpionfly

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for your help in identifying the Scorpionfly.  I must have scanned 500 photos of flying insect in Texas but never encountered this one.
Regards,
Steve Autry
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Just rescued this from my dogs…
Geographic location of the bug:  Girard KS
Date: 09/26/2017
Time: 05:04 PM EDT
Just found my dogs trying to eat this little thing, so I rescued it. It’s approx 1.5″ long & about an inch wide. Looks like a tiny & very colourful dragonfly. Any idea what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Chris K.

Scorpionfly

Dear Chris,
Because of your kindness to this Scorpionfly, we are tagging your submission with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: WHat kind of bug
Location: Canadian, Oklahoma
October 12, 2016 2:55 pm
Not sure I’ve ever seen one like this before.
Signature: G Lynn

Scorpionfly

Scorpionfly

Dear G Lynn,
This is a marvelous image of a harmless Scorpionfly.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults feed mainly on dead/dying insects, rarely on nectar/fruit.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help!
Location: Central Texas
March 26, 2016 4:48 pm
Can you please help us identify this bug?
Signature: Abby

Possibly Scorpionfly

Possibly Scorpionfly

Dear Abby,
We believe this is a Scorpionfly in the order Mecoptera, but we cannot find any images of individuals with black wings and an orange body on BugGuide other than
Panorpa lugubris, which is definitely not your species.  We are requesting assistance from Eric Eaton.  If possible, can you send additional images showing the insect from a lateral view that would show details of the head and mouthparts?  Thanks.

Eric Eaton poses another possibility
Daniel:
I am thinking this is a caddisfly of some kind.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: New to me
Location: Washington state greater Seattle area
March 25, 2016 8:35 am
Lived at this location for 15 years and just this spring I have seen a couple of these. Any ideas?
Signature: Cdm

Scorpionfly

Scorpionfly

Dear Cdm,
This is a member of the insect order Mecoptera which includes Scorpionflies, Hangingflies, and Earwigflies and we believe we have identified it as a member of the genus
Brachypanorpa, most likely Brachypanorpa oregonensis based on this BugGuide image and the range which is listed as Oregon and Washington.  Of the family, BugGuide states:  “Larvae are scarabaeiform and found in the soil where they presumably feed on plant roots.”

Scorpionfly

Scorpionfly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination