Subject: Winged beasty
Location: Newark, Delaware
March 21, 2015 10:20 am
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
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.”